Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One
Harry D. Briggs

Harry D. Briggs

Harry D. Briggs of Dunkirk, N.Y., 80, peacefully passed away on March 1, 2021, at the Chautauqua Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

He was born in Dunkirk on March 19, 1940, the son of the late Clarence and Mary (Desmond) Briggs. Harry was also preceded in death by his beloved sister, Sylvia M. Gorka, and brother, William Briggs.

Surviving are his beautiful wife of 58 years, Joan M. Briggs, loving children Michael (Laurie) Briggs of Dunkirk, Mary Jo (Greg) Briggs-Austin of South Carolina, Edward Briggs of Florida and Jody (Don) Falkner of Cassadaga; his grandchildren Ryan, Nicholas, Trevor, Natasha, Breanna, Kara, Edward Jr., Nadine, Michael Jr., Ashley, Joshua and Allan; and his brother, Clifford (Kathy) Briggs. He is also survived by eight great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.

A lifelong resident of Dunkirk, Harry graduated from Mindszenty High School and then Bryant & Stratton Business Institute as an accountant. He was employed by Schrantz & Crino, Main Wines and Spirits as well as self-employed as Harry D. Briggs Tax Services. He was known around town as The Tax Man, aka the Bean Counter.

He was an active member and participant in his community. He enjoyed coaching Little League, helping with Boy Scouts and chaperoning at Camp Gross and Camp Merz. He was a member of the Color Guard in the Flying Dutchman Hose Company 1 Drum Corp and was a member of a number of social clubs including the First Ward Falcon Club, The Elks Club and Moniuszko Social Club. He was also a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

He took civic duties seriously and served as City of Dunkirk First Ward Council member from 1984 to 1986 and City of Dunkirk Fiscal Officer from 2012 to 2014.

In his younger days, he enjoyed hunting and trapping and took pride in teaching his sons how to trap. Along with hunting, Harry enjoyed fishing with his grandchildren at Cassadaga Lake.

Harry loved his family unselfishly. He helped raise his grandchildren and would pick them up after school and cared for them when they were sick. Summers were spent with more than six grandchildren at a time! He committed his life to helping his children succeed as parents and become productive people in the community. Harry also had a love for dogs and during his lifetime he welcomed many four-legged furbabies into the Briggs family.

Harry took great pride in working with his wife to groom their lawn and planting flowers. He enjoyed watching comedy, listening to country music and going dancing with his wife. Harry loved spending time with his family. He had a reputation as a prankster and he loved to tell a good scary story or sing a funny, homemade song to his kids and grandkids.

Apart from getting people to laugh or jump, Big Papa was known for being able to hold one of his cherished grandchildren or great grandchildren and within minutes have a sleeping baby in his arms. His family already misses him dearly.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Chautauqua Hospice Care or Northern Chautauqua Canine Rescue.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no viewing will be held. A memorial will be planned at a later date. Arrangements are by the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home.

1 Comment

  • Dick Bardwell Posted March 11, 2021 5:37 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss Joan. 58 years of marriage is a wonderful accomplishment that few of us will get to realize.

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