BRIGGS, Gladys F.
Hastings formally of Middleville
On the last day of the longest year in recent memory (December 31, 2020), Gladys Faye Briggs passed away peacefully.
She is survived by, Ralph “Butch” Edward Briggs, her husband of sixty-four years. She is also survived by her loving brother Doyle Tankersley, five children: Shellie McQueen, Michael, Carl, Benjamin, and Nathan Briggs, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. She was proceeded in death by two grandsons, Bryan McQueen and Matthew Briggs.
Gladys was born in Warrior, Alabama on June 24, 1939 to her parents Roy and Helen Tankersley. A daughter of a sharecropper, she loved to tell the stories of growing up in Alabama. In 1954 her family, like many, migrated to Michigan in search of work and a better life. They settled in Augusta just outside of Battle Creek. It was there where she met her husband who she affectionately called “Butch”. They were married on December 20, 1955 and “Butch” soon thereafter enlisted in the Army. Gladys and their growing family followed “Butch” on assignments to Chicago, Council Bluffs IA, and a three-year tour in Germany. In 1967, after returning from Germany, they bought a house in “The Downs” in Middleville, MI where they resided for fifty years.
Gladys, also known as Faye by friends, was a quiet woman with a mischievous smile and “cutting wit”. She had a “sixth sense” about what was happening around her. A skill she honed by raising five rambunctious children. She loved her husband, her children and her “little house on Greenwood”. She took great pride in building a home and a family, but as much as she loved her own children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her “true treasure”.
The last five years of Gladys’ life were spent at Thornapple Manor in the Sugar Bush wing. Over the course of that five years, dozens and dozens of women and men attended to her needs. She loved every one of them. If you are one of those who took care of Gladys, our family cannot thank you enough for loving her. You are wonderful. A mere “thank you” doesn’t seem enough.
Thinking back on Gladys’ life, whether she was a mother, sister, aunt, grandma, or great grandma, the best descriptor would be “friend”. Glady’s was able to touch your heart, ease your pain, and most all make you feel special. No matter the situation Mom, Glady, Faye, Gladys made each and everyone she met feel they mattered, and she genuinely cared. For those that knew the path she walked, they knew this was truly a gift she learned, not from a book, poem, or even advice from mentors. This special gift, her blessing was earned, through many a test and tribulation of life experience. As children, our friends flocked to her for direction, those who were in need stayed, and those lucky enough to hear her words, took the wisdom of the many life experiences, both triumphs and yes, mistakes from someone who lived well, and learned. Her willingness to share these experiences, honestly and with love and care was truly a blessing to all. Mom will be missed by many; this is her legacy! Not for what she left, but those she left behind with pieces and parts of herself.
She was a selfless survivor who not only loved well but was willing to risk connecting and sharing herself, to connect, care and share with those willing to listen and allow her to love.
God’s peace Gladys Faye. We miss you and will always remember the sacrifices you made for all of us and how you touched so many lives.
A special thank you and goodbye from those who called her grandma and great grandma “G-G”, both great children and grandchildren alike (Blood or not).
Gladys will be buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Middleville. Her grave site is fittingly between her two grandsons who proceeded her in death.
A graveside service will be conducted at Mount Hope Cemetery on Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 1:00 PM. A Celebration of Life will also be planned for a later date. Memorial contributions to the Middleville Lions Club will be appreciated. Please visit www.beelergoresfuneral.com to share a memory or leave a condolence message for Gladys’ family.