Lillian Briggs

Lillian Briggs

Saturday, August 16th, 1930 Monday, January 13th, 2020

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Obituary for Lillian Mae Briggs (Smith)

Lillian Mae (Smith) Briggs, 89, passed on to her eternal home on Monday, January
13, 2020 at Wesbury United Methodist Community where she had been a resident
for the last four years. She was born on August 16 (her father’s birthday) in 1930.
She was the oldest of four daughters born to Arthur and Edna (Yocum) Smith.
She attended school at Wayland-East Mead, Meadville First District, Meadville
High School and graduated from Randolph High School in 1948. She was a
cheerleader her Junior and Senior years, Vice President and Salutatorian of her
On June 7, 1950 she married the boy next door, Merle Briggs. They shared 48
years of marriage before his death on April 10, 1999.
They raised five children, including a son, who had been one of more than 100
foster children who were cared for by Lillian and Merle over a span of 20 years.
Their children are Vicki (Bill) Bradshaw, Becky (Joel) Abbey, Kevin Briggs
(deceased), Linda Parello (deceased) and Damien Briggs. Lillian was blessed with
nine grandchildren Curtis Bradshaw, Adam (Meggan) Bradshaw, Jason (Samantha)
Abbey, Brandon Abbey and his special friend Michelle, Heather (Nick) Skuban,
Travis Abbey, Nathan (Jennie) Parello, Dan Parello and Brianna (Tim) Collins, 15
great-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren.
Additional survivors are her sisters, Helen Waid, Elaine Pratt and Shirley Humes, a
foster daughter Patty Lee and a son-in-law Mike Parello. She is also survived by
numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws Carlton and Mattie Briggs, a
son, a daughter and brothers and sisters-in-law, Muff Waid, Bill Pratt, Frank
Humes, Frank and Coral (Briggs) Boor, Ray and Betty (Briggs) Wetsell and Barbara
(Briggs) Yanc.
Lillian’s first job was milking cows for a neighbor. During World War II when her
father was serving in the Navy, she moved with her mother and sisters from the
farm to Meadville. While attending high school in Meadville, Lillian worked at the
former Spencer Hospital. They returned to the farm when his service ended and
after graduation from Randolph, she worked in the office of G.C. Murphy Co. She
also worked at Montgomery Ward, Penncrest Day Care Center and as a nurse aide
at Crawford County Home (now Crawford County Care Center). Lillian’s last place of
employment was at Blooming Valley Lumber Co which she and Merle purchased

around 1964. It was known as Briggs’ Hardware when Lillian closed the store in
Lillian enjoyed collecting all forms of trivia including poems, newspaper articles,
words of wisdom and recipes. She started and hosted a monthly lunch the “Usters”
group in Blooming Valley which included local neighbors who “used to” do this or
that. She enjoyed reading her Bible, solving the daily cryptoquote, word searches
and puzzles.
Over the years Lillian’s community service included being the first woman to serve
on the Penncrest School Board (six years), a Girl Scout leader, Sunday School
teacher, Christian Heart Crusaders, and a supporter/promoter of early local
recycling efforts. For 34 years she and Merle were daily weather observers for
the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at Woodcock Creek Lake and received a
commendation from the Corp for their service of providing weather data. She was
instrumental in starting the Randolph-East Mead Alumni reunion which celebrated
its 22nd gathering in 2019.
Lillian was selected to carry an Olympic torch in the torch relay across the United
States for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, GA. She carried the torch in Northeast,
PA on June 11, 1996. She was one of only 16 individuals from across our country
selected from nominations submitted in a contest sponsored by USA Today and was
selected based on her many years and variety of community service.
Calling hours will be Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Ryan M. Warren, 544 Chestnut St.,
Meadville, and Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. at Blooming Valley United Methodist
Church, 24740 State St., Meadville. The funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. with
the Rev. Dr. Joong Wook Koe and Rev. Christine Rogan officiating.
A private burial at Roselawn Memorial Gardens will take place with immediate family
at a later date.
The family suggests memorials be made to Blooming Valley UMC, 24740 State
Street, Meadville, PA 16335.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt appreciation for the loving care
provided by the staff at Wesbury United Methodist Community.
Please take a moment to share a memory or condolence with the family on Lillian's Book of Memories at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lillian Mae Briggs (Smith), please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, January 17th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Ryan M. Warren Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc.
    544 Chestnut Street
    Meadville, Pennsylvania
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Friday, January 17th, 2020
    4:00pm - 7:00pm
  • Second Visitation

    Saturday, January 18th, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Blooming Valley United Methodist Church
    24740 State Street
    Meadville, PA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Saturday, January 18th, 2020
    10:00am - 11:00am
  • Service

    Saturday, January 18th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Blooming Valley United Methodist Church
    24740 State Street
    Meadville, PA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Saturday, January 18th, 2020
  • Interment

    Monday, January 20th, 2020 | 10:00am
    Roselawn Memorial Gardens
    17045 Conneaut Lake Road
    Vernon Township, PA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Monday, January 20th, 2020

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Love, Lauren and Dusty Roberts sent flowers to the family of Lillian Mae Briggs (Smith).
Hand delivered by a local florist
Love, Lauren and Dusty Roberts sent flowers to the family of Lillian Mae Briggs (Smith).
Hand delivered by a local florist

Karlin Marsh

My family and I have fond memories of Lillian and Merle Briggs. Merle remodeled my parents home, earning their respect and appreciation in the process. After Merle’s untimely death, Lillian kept touch with my family, and after their passing, with me. She was a lovely person and to learn of her death was a shock and sadness. She and Merle will always be remembered with fondness.

Karlin Happe Marsh
3837 Shadow Bend Drive
Haughton LA 71037
Comment | Posted at 05:35pm via Condolence

Love, Lauren and Dusty Roberts

Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
Flower Image

Memorial Flowers Purchased

Love, Lauren and Dusty Roberts purchased flowers for the family of Lillian Briggs.
Comment | Posted at 08:14am via Floral Arrangements

Donna Lawrason

What a beautiful, accomplished woman. I had known Lillian since I was 8 yrs old, when Saegertown Shepherds 4-H club was formed. Linda and I were part of the founding club members. Kevin joined the next year. Even though Lillian buried her beloved husband and those two children she still exuded joy and her faith in God. I know she is rejoicing in Heaven and heard "Well done good and faithful servant". I respected and loved her!! Donna (Newhard) Lawrason
Comment | Posted at 06:19pm via Condolence

Cherie G. Jones

Lillian had a smile that could light up a room and the energy to go with it. She was a joy to know and be around in the Church that she and Merle so dearly loved. The steeple is her gift in memory of Merle and she was always so happy that she could see it from her home. She was a blessing to DOZENS, including me. Cherie G. Jones
Comment | Posted at 12:53pm via Condolence

Why light a candle?

This is why you should light a candle..

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