James J. Briggs, 88

James J. Briggs

SCARBOROUGH — James J. Briggs of Scarborough, age 88, passed away Jan. 11, 2013, in Scarborough.

He was born in Bridgton on Aug. 7, 1924, the son of James M. and Isabella Wilson Briggs. He was known as “Junior” during his school years, and he graduated as Valedictorian from Bridgton High School in 1942.

He entered the military service and was assigned to the cadre forming the 75th Infantry Division at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Later he was transferred to the 65th Infantry Division and served in the European Theater. At a ceremony upon cessation of hostilities, Tech 3 Briggs was cited for valor. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Heroic Achievement in the rescue of two wounded officers who were lying on an open slope under enemy mortar fire and facing certain death. He was also the recipient of the Purple Heart Medal and the Combat Badge.

James married Phyllis M. Crosby of Bridgton on Aug. 31, 1946. Two years later, with their daughter Deirdre Elaine, they moved to Scarborough, where son James Hudson was born.

In 1947 he commenced a 23-year career with Swift & Co. in the accounting department. James chose early retirement rather than transfer out of state in 1969 during a reorganization of the company. He accepted employment with the Maine State Department of Education as an auditor and subsequently served as business manager of the former SMVTI until 1976. He then returned to the private sector and was an accountant for Wiley Construction Company for 23 years.

In the 1950s and 1960s James was active in local civic affairs, serving on the school and planning boards, various parent/teacher organizations, and the Little League. He was a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge and American Legion, and a past Commander of the Libby-Mitchell Post 76.

James was predeceased by his parents, a brother John, and sisters Charlotte, Nellie, and Anne. Surviving is Phyllis, his wife of 66 years; daughter Deirdre E. and her husband T. Joseph Thornton of Scarborough; son Dr. James H. Briggs and his wife Gayle of Adrian, Michigan; grandsons James Matthew Briggs of Adrian, Michigan and Scott Hudson Briggs and fiancée Lindsay Bays of Madeira Beach, Florida; granddaughter Elizabeth Ann and her husband Travis Worthley of Smithfield, Rhode Island; and a sister Mary B. Briggs of Portland, Maine.

All services will be private. Contributions in his memory may be made to: Scarborough Rescue Department, 246 US Route 1, Scarborough, ME 04074. Online condolences may be expressed at www.hobbsfuneralhome.com

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