Raymond Bruce Briggs, born in Canton, Aug. 18, 1940, passed away on Dec. 24, 2019 in Fairfax, Virginia, due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease.
Bruce was preceded in death by his father, Oscar Lee Briggs and his mother, Norma Rickards Briggs.
Bruce was known for his ever present kindness and wit, as well as his formidable intellect. He was a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where he served as president of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.
He achieved his master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, and worked at the forefront of the computer age, beginning at Duke University and UCLA.
Over the years, he served as chief information officer for many organizations, including the University of Missouri, the University of Georgia, the J. Paul Getty Trust, Georgia Perimeter College, the American Council on Education, and the California State University System.
A citizen of the world, Bruce especially enjoyed his experience as a higher education technology consultant in the United Arab Emirates. He was widely respected by colleagues as a leader and mentor.
Possessing a vibrant and adventurous spirit not granted everyone, Bruce was a world traveler, always embracing new experiences and locations.
An avid skier, runner and hiker over the years, his tireless energy was contagious. He was never without a “project,” and —always the first to volunteer to help a friend (or stranger) move, build, or repair anything. Bruce was perhaps most content when he felt productive and helpful to others, most especially to his family, whom he valued above all.
Bruce was a supremely gentle and generous soul, who will be dearly missed by his wife, Audrey (Garland) Kelaher Briggs of Fairfax, Virginia, and his two daughters Kimberly Anne Briggs and Allison Leigh (Briggs) Abbott from his former marriage to Christina (Chrisman) Briggs Fletcher, with whom he maintained a lifelong friendship. Kimberly resides in Cumming, GA, and Allison resides in Encinitas, CA with her husband Louis Abbott, and their daughters Maya and Olivia. Bruce’s legacy of caring deeply for furry, four-legged creatures lives on in them.
He was also much beloved by his siblings, Linda Bowers of Columbus, Ohio; Richard Briggs of Ripplemead, Virginia; and Mariana Briggs of West Falls, New York —as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Bruce was also especially fond of his Uncle Bruce Briggs and Aunt Peggy Briggs, and their children Brian and Susan of Waynesville. And he will forever be held in deep affection and respect by Audrey’s family, especially her children, Joshua, Alexandra, and Samuel Kelaher.
A consummate gentleman, Bruce’s integrity, dignity, and inherent grace will continue to inspire his family and friends. The family is planning a celebration of his extraordinary life this spring in Western North Carolina.