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Official Obituary of

Mary Lee Briggs

August 10, 1944 ~ March 24, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old

Mary Briggs Obituary

Gracious and graceful, kind and loving – these traits were obvious to all that met Mary. But there were many facets to this beautiful gem. Mary was stylish but classic. She was gentle but fierce. She was serious but loved to have fun. She was smart but blonde. She was the queen, but humble. She was the best friend, mother and grandmother you could wish for. She was our Mary, Mama, and GrandMary.  

Mary was a fierce advocate for the most vulnerable children in our community as evidenced by her work with Child Guidance and Family Solutions. Mary gathered a group of powerful, purposeful women to create a Women’s Board for CGFS. This group wrote a program, “Remember the Children”, for divorcing parents. The program was so respected that Mary was asked to present it to the United Nations international conference on families. “Remember the Children” remains a mandated program for divorcing parents in Summit County. The group also wrote a similar program for children who witness domestic violence.

Mary was also a proud member of the Women’s Board of Akron Children's Hospital. She was proud of the impact of the board on the hospital and the many contributions made by the board. She especially loved working on the Charity Ball and many a deb learned to curtsey under Mary’s watchful eye. She was also an integral part of the Women’s Board annual spring plant sale.  

The Junior League of Akron held a special place in Mary’s life as well. She was committed to making women a strong force in the Akron non-profit world. She served as President of the League and is recognized as one of the best Presidents that served. She was a leaders’ leader.  Mary was also instrumental in the creation of the Akron Training program, teaching participants to be effective team members and leaders.  Mary also graciously donated the use of her home for the Junior League to use for its Show House fundraiser.  

Since 1988, Mary was an active member of Leadership Akron as well as the recipient of the Distinguished Leader Award.

Mary was born in 1944 in Franklin County, Ohio to Carl and Esther Strasser.  Mary’s sister Martha was by her side in good times and in tough times.  Mary graduated from Linden McKinley High School in Columbus, Ohio and put herself through Ohio State University while working at Nationwide Insurance.  She married Rob Briggs and they remained close friends throughout their lives following their eventual divorce. She loved her times in California and Goose Bay, Labrador as a military wife. Mary and Rob eventually moved to Akron and started their family.  Son John and daughter Jennifer Briggs Jenkins were the great loves of her life.  She was also blessed to have three wonderful grandsons, Wilson Jenkins, Caleb Jenkins, and Pace Briggs, with whom she loved to share movies and adventures. Her daughter-in-law Taryn and her son-in-law Jared Jenkins were also treasured parts of her family. Erik Johnston was her pseudo son, always there to help her in times of need and celebrate holidays.  

Mary will be remembered fondly by her many friends – the book club, the wine club, Seedlings garden club, “The G8”, “The Belles” and “The Sanibel Sisters”. She blessed the lives of her friends and family and was an inspiration to all.  She will be remembered by the community as a force for good and an advocate for women and children. She passed away at age 79 in the amazing care of The Hospice of Western Reserve, with Jennifer and John by her side on Sunday March 24th, 2024.

There will be no funeral services but a Celebration of Life will be held in the future. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: The Junior League of AkronThe Women’s Board of Akron Children’s Hospital, or the Hospice of the Western Reserve of Medina. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Please check back for details.


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