Ulyss Lee Briggs, 88, died Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Farmington, NM. Services will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Durango, CO, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m., followed by services at 11 a.m. Burial will take place at Greenmount Cemetery immediately following.
Mr. Briggs was born September 27, 1932, in Tigertown, Texas, the son of Ervin Delany and Ora Ethel Briggs, and moved with the family to Dove Creek, Colorado in August 1934. He is a 1950 graduate of Dolores County High School and attended the old Fort Lewis College campus near Hesperus, the University of Colorado, in Boulder, received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Denver, and his master's degree in math from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, in Durant.
Lee, as he was known to his colleagues, was well educated and devoted his life to education, beginning his career in North Highlands, California, before returning to Durango in 1961. He taught math at Miller Junior High and Fort Lewis College, in Durango, the University of Alaska, in Fairbanks, Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Jordan High School, in Sandy, Utah, Navajo Community College, in Shiprock, and ended his career as the Education Director for the Southern Ute Tribe, in Ignacio, Colorado.
On the night of February 19, 1954, Mr. Briggs, a firefighter with the Durango Fire Department, survived the collapse of the showroom roof at the Miller Motor Company, where Louis Hoffman and his brother, Elzie Briggs died.
In the 1980s, he moved to property just south of the Colorado state line and lived near his brother, Otis Edison Briggs, for many years. In 2017 he moved to Farmington. He enjoyed teaching, visiting family, history, family genealogy, target practicing, Navajo and other Native American cultures, and the mountains of Southwest Colorado.
He is survived by his wife, Georgia Ann Briggs, his children, Steven Lee Briggs and Ryan Lee Briggs, of Farmington; Linda Kaye Bliss of Heber City, Utah, and Dawna Michelle Murdock of West Jordan, Utah; siblings, Donald Briggs of Durango and Nola Faye Clouse of Oakland, California, 15 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Elzie Briggs and Otis Edison Briggs and their parents.
Published in The Durango Herald on May 19, 2021.