Cover photo for William Earl Briggs, Sr.'s Obituary
William Earl Briggs, Sr. Profile Photo
1937 William 2023

William Earl Briggs, Sr.

October 30, 1937 — October 18, 2023


William Earl Briggs, Sr., affectionately known as Bill, passed away peacefully at his home on October 18, 2023. He was born in McDonald, Michigan on October 30, 1937, to his loving parents Stanley and Ruth Briggs.

Bill was a hard worker who dedicated himself to various professions throughout his life. After graduating from Hartford High School in 1955, he pursued his passion for barbering and attended Green's Barber College in Detroit in 1961. Following the completion of his studies, Bill opened his own barber shop where he honed his craft and built strong relationships with his clients. Later on, he transitioned into the field of plumbing, eventually becoming a Master Plumber. Bill worked tirelessly until his retirement in 2010 when he decided to embark on a well-deserved rest.

Those who knew Bill will fondly remember him for his frugality and remarkable business sense. He had an innate ability to make wise financial decisions and always sought the best opportunities for success. Despite being cantankerous and outspoken, he possessed a heart of gold. Bill's giving nature and generosity left an everlasting impact on the lives of those around him.

Aside from his professional endeavors, Bill embraced various hobbies and interests that brought him immense joy. He enjoyed tinkering around in his yard / garden and had quite the green thumb. Others may remember him for running a vegetable stand where he shared the fruits of his labor with friends and neighbors. Bill and Vivan were very active with local square dancing clubs. From these clubs, a strong social network developed. This network included camping and many other gatherings. Bill also had a soft spot for farm animals, which became cherished pets over the years. Cows, chickens, goats and even Chinchillas found their way into Bill's heart.

Among Bill's proudest accomplishments were his successful careers as a respected barber and plumber. Additionally, he actively involved himself as a Brother of Portage/Brady Mason Lodge #340 throughout his life and was a Noble of the Saladin Shriner’s and the Kalamazoo Shrine Club.  One notable role he held within this organization was overseeing transportation logistics for the Shriners Hospital in Chicago, a responsibility that highlighted his dedication and commitment to helping others.

Bill leaves behind a lovingly united family. He is survived by his first wife, Vivan. He is also lovingly remembered by his children: William Earl Briggs Jr., Debra (Ken) Snell, Tom (Stephanie) Briggs, stepsons: Paul Norg, and Andrew Norg as well as his partner Margaret Giltner and his sister Joan Beattie, sister-in-law Charlene Briggs, and brother Jack (Sandy) Briggs, half-brothers Bob Rasmussen, John Briggs and Allen Briggs.

Bill's legacy continues through the lives of his grandchildren: Terry Blanchard, Nathan (Maggie) Dimmick, Nici (Amanda) Dimmick, Kaitlyn Briggs, Gena (Rusty) Briggs-Noyes, and Michael Briggs Jr. Additionally, he was blessed with ten great-grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews.

Bill is preceded in death by his second wife Martha, his parents Stanley and Ruth, his stepfather Harry Rasmussen, his daughter Brenda Dimmick Doster, and his brother Stanley Briggs and his brother in law David Beattie.

A visitation will be held on Friday, October 27th at The Bridge Church; 7200 Angling Road in Portage, Michigan from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Immediately following will be a funeral service also held at The Bridge Church from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

We invite all friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances of Bill to join us in remembrance as we honor the beautiful life he lived. His memory will forever be treasured by each of us whose lives were touched by his kindness, generosity, and hardworking spirit.

The family kindly requests that donations be made to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission or charity of Choice.

May we find solace in knowing that Bill's legacy will live on through the countless lives he impacted. As we mourn his loss, let us celebrate the remarkable life he led and draw inspiration from his dedication, perseverance, and unwavering love for family and community.

While visiting Bill’s memory page at, please sign the guest book or leave a memory.  The family is being assisted by Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Home; 5975 Lovers Lane in Portage 269 344-5600.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Earl Briggs, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, October 27, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, October 27, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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