James Parham Briggs

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TUSCALOOSA | James Parham Briggs, age 86, of Tuscaloosa, died February 22, 2014, at home. A memorial service celebrating his life will be 2 p.m. Monday at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Ken Dunivant officiating. The family will receive friends in Chitwood Hall after the service. It will be preceded by a private morning graveside service at Tuscaloosa Memorial Park with Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel directing.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, the former Pat Williams, of Humboldt, Tenn.; his daughter, Patrice Briggs Sloan (Jimmy), of Tuscaloosa; her son, Dr. James Judson Briggs (Tammy), of Atlanta, Ga.; nine grandchildren, Kris-ten Dietrich Godfrey (Doug), of Southbury, Conn., Dr. Karen Dietrich Walker (Jonathan), of Tuscaloosa, Kathryn Dietrich Perreault (Andrew), of Bir-mingham, Rebecca Allison Briggs, James Judson Briggs, James Hunter Briggs, and Sarah Elizabeth Briggs, all of Atlanta, Angel Sloan Freeman, of Birmingham, and Amy Sloan Fontenot, of Destin, Fla.; and seven great-grandchildren.
He was born September 17, 1927, in Cairo, Ill., to the late James Henry Briggs and the late Parham Leath. Mr. Briggs grew up in Humboldt, Tenn. He graduated from Humboldt High School in 1945, where he was a standout athlete, President of the student body, and Tennes-see Boys State Representative. One week after graduation, he volunteered for the United States Navy. After serving in the Navy until the end of World War II, he attended the Univer-sity of Tennessee in Knoxville and graduated from Lambuth University with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. After graduation, he worked for Un-ion Carbide Corporation at the Atomic Energy plant in Padu-cah, Kenn. In 1955, he followed his father into the life insur-ance business with Equitable Life Assurance Society in Memphis, Tenn. At age 40, he became an accomplished horseman and rode with the Long Green Hunt Club of Mem-phis. He also served for many years on the Board of the Ger-mantown Horse Show in Ger-mantown, Tenn.
In 1960, he was appointed Tennessee Agency Manager for the Principal Financial Group where he built an outstanding record over a period of 15 years. In 1975, he joined Pro-tective Life in Birmingham as Vice President of the Eastern United States.
He was later offered an op-portunity in the resort, real estate, and hospitality business and was made President of the Eden Isle Corporation, which included the four- star Red Apple Inn at Heber Springs, Ark. He left there to assume the position of General Man-ager of the Resort Division with Gulf States Paper Corporation in Tuscaloosa where he worked for Chairman Jack Warner in further developing the North River Yacht Club. He was a member of the Apollo Club and the Opinions Group. In retire-ment, he enjoyed many hours playing golf with friends and many travels with his wife.
His goal in life and business was to strive for and achieve excellence-inspiring and en-couraging those around him to become their best. His adoring family and many friends were blessed by his gracious and generous nature. He defined ""gentleman."" He exemplified steadfast love. His face is pre-sent in all the most treasured memories of his family.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to the First United Methodist Church, 800 Greensboro Ave-nue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 or Hospice of West Alabama, 3851 Loop Road, Tuscaloosa, AL.
Published in Tuscaloosa News on Feb. 23, 2014
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