Waynesville, Bruce Arthur Briggs, 95, passed away on January 16, 2022, in Waynesville, North Carolina.
He is survived by his wife, Peggy McCracken Briggs, his son, Brian Briggs of Waynesville and daughter, Susan Briggs Parris and her husband, Stan Parris of Boones Mill, Virginia. In addition, he is survived by his beloved grandsons, Bradley Briggs, Briggs Parris and Glenn Parris. Additional survivors are his sister-in-law, Mary Frances Gray, and many special nephews and nieces.
Bruce was born to Arnissie Miller Briggs and O.L. Briggs on January 6, 1927, in his grandmother’s home on Montgomery Street in Waynesville, North Carolina. He would spend the rest of his life living in this beautiful town and county nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He was a graduate of the Waynesville Township High School Class of 1945. Bruce was a member of the first marching band in Haywood County under the direction of the notable Charles Isley. His classmates were an important part of his life and he always enjoyed staying connected to them. Bruce was the last living male in his graduating class. He graduated from Western Carolina University summa cum laude with a degree in accounting.
Bruce spent most of his career at Dayco Corporation as plant controller. He distinguished himself by his integrity, hard work, and attention to detail.
Bruce was a member of the First Baptist Church of Waynesville, where he dedicated decades of service as a deacon, financial chairman, Sunday School teacher and on numerous committees. He was active in many local civic activities including the Rotary Club where he received the Paul Harris Fellow Award. He served on the Junaluska Sanitary District Board for over 40 years. He was the founding board member of the Waynesville Historical Society, the Shelton House Board of Directors, the Shook House Board of Directors, and Haywood Vocational Opportunities Board.
Bruce retired from Dayco in 1988 and devoted his time to serving his church and community while also enjoying working on his farm. During this time, he saw a need for underprivileged preschoolers in the community and worked to start a preschool at First Baptist that would provide scholarships to enable those in the community to attend that otherwise wouldn’t be able to go. He was a noted historian and valued the important lessons learned from history. He was sought out as a speaker and presenter of all things Waynesville and Haywood County. He resolved to work on compiling three books to preserve history that was particularly important to him: the history of his church, First Baptist Waynesville; the Medical History of Haywood County; and his last work, the History of Haywood County. With his passing, much knowledge and history of our county and native family histories passes also.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Bruce Briggs will be held at 2pm at Encouraging Word Baptist Church on Sunday, January 23, 2022, followed by a private burial.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Fruitland Baptist Bible College, 1455 Gilliam Road, Hendersonville, NC 28792, in memory of Bruce Briggs to be used to further the theological education of local pastors in Western North Carolina or to the Waynesville Historical Society, PO Box 444, Waynesville, NC 28786.
The care of Mr. Briggs has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville.