Helen Lois Briggs
Date of birth: February 25 1925
Date of death: September 26 2019
Helen Lois Briggs – Feb 25, 1925 – Sept 26, 2019
Helen was born in Muskegon, MI as the third child of Alfred and Olive Green. Olive moved west to Dundee, OR with 5-year-old Helen and her older sister, Eleanor, to marry Clarence Kennedy on 5/19/30. Helen’s youngest sister, Esther, was born there in 1935.
While living in Dundee, Eleanor and Helen began attending Sunday School at a neighborhood church. It was there, at five years of age, that she first heard about Jesus and His great love for her. Helen asked Jesus to come into her heart right then, cleanse her heart from sin, and be her Savior. Jesus did and He changed her life forever!
In the Spring of 1940, Olive and her three daughters moved back to Muskegon. In 1943 Helen graduated from Muskegon High School and also met and married Harley G. Briggs on September 10, 1943.
Helen held a variety of jobs, but her first focus was always following Jesus, secondly caring for her husband and third for her family. After the birth of their first child, George, in Muskegon, Harley and Helen moved to Owosso, MI so he could attend Owosso Bible College in preparation to become a Minister of the Gospel. Three more children were born in Owosso, and after his graduation in 1953, they moved west with their four kids to pastor Pilgrim Holiness churches in Clarkston, WA (1953-57), Eugene, OR (1957-60 -- where their last two daughters were born), and finally Corvallis, OR (1960-65). In 1965 Harley was elected as NW District Superintendent of the Pilgrim Holiness denomination and the family moved to Salem, OR. All this time Helen was a very busy and devoted mother and pastor’s wife, deeply involved with the children’s ministries in each of these churches.
After her husband’s moral failure and removal from ministry, the family moved to Albany, OR in 1968 where Helen would live the rest of her life, except for her final year due to health needs. In her mid-life years, before and after Harley divorced her, Helen worked tirelessly for several different agencies all involved with caring for the elderly and handicapped, with the goal of keeping them in their homes.
She was forced to retire from this work in January 1996 at almost 71 years of age, after suffering a heart attack and subsequently had triple-bypass surgery.
Always faithful to Jesus, her marriage vows and her family, Helen was also a long-time member of the Albany First Assembly of God (now called Hope Church) participating until age and declining health, with Alzheimer’s, prevented her. Her life was marked by kindness, love, joy, singing and self-sacrifice.
She is survived by 5 of her 6 children:Chuck (Janice) Briggs, Salem OR;Marilyn (Darrell) Cole, Spokane WA;Bob Briggs; Suzy (Rusty) Duffy all of Albany OR;Martha (Timothy) Long, Milwaukie OR;sister Esther Diehl, Comstock Park, MI;12 grandchildren plus their spouses; and 21 great grandchildren.
Helen was preceded in death by her only spouse, Harley; oldest son, George; infant great grandson Sawyer Jude Duffy; older brother Alfred, Jr.; sisters Eleanor and (infant) Dorothy; as well as her parents.
A memorial service will be held November 16, 2019 at Hope Church, 2817 Santiam Highway SE, Albany, Oregon, at 2 PM with Rev. Brett Huff officiating. Memorial contributions in Helen’s honor may be made to: “Mai Greene Vietnam Ministry” (Please specify in Comments), c/o The Neighborhood Church, 21065 SW Stafford Road, Tualatin, OR 97062 with checks, or online http://www.theneighborhoodchurch.org
7 tribute candles have been lit
Candle lit by Staff at Crown Memorial Center Our sincere condolences.
Candle lit by Dennis Selfridge Was there when I came to Christ and helped in the formation of my spiritual life.
Candle lit by Carolyn Schrock My dearest Helen... May you rest in Peace, you touched my life in so many ways... Love from one of your Brookdale Family
Candle lit by Martha Long What a wonderful mother she was! Miss her lots, but thankful she’s with Jesus now and completely well. ❤️
Candle lit by Carol Brisky An amazing life, well lived.
Candle lit by Debra Adkins-Brown Sweet Helen you have been missed here from the day you moved. You were always singing and praising Jesus. You lived your faith every day. It was an honor to know here and it will be an honor to know you when I get to follow you home.
Candle lit by Evalyn Cole Even though Helen is not present on earth, she leaves behind many fond memories of her cheerful laughter and goodwill toward others. She also leaves behind children who love and serve her Lord. She surely must be celebrating in the presence of our Heavenly Father!