Earl Leon Briggs of Park Hill was born in Tahlequah on January 6, 1950 and died Tuesday October 17, 2017, in Oklahoma City. Funeral services were held at Green Country Funeral Home on Monday, October 23, and interment followed at Fort Gibson National Cemetery.
Leon was preceded in death by his mother, Mattie Dimple Woods; father, Earl Gene Briggs; brother, Robert Lee (Bob) Briggs; nephew, Matthew Edwards; and brothers-in-law, Harold Edwards and Art Webster.
He is survived by his wife Jody and their children: Jessica Sproule of Marrietta, Ga., Mackenzie Hill and husband Jacob of Powder Springs, Ga., and Laura-Jayne Nimmo and partner Dwayne Baine of Everett, Wa.; six grandchildren; three sisters: Velta Edwards of Durant, Okla., Jeanne Hobson and husband Fred of El Reno, Okla., Linda Webster of Tahlequah, numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of other beloved family and friends.
After graduating from Tahlequah High School, Leon entered the United States Marine Corps in April 1969 and was discharged April 1973, serving in combat in Vietnam. He returned to Tahlequah and attended Northeastern State University, earning a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. He worked for the U.S. Corps of Engineers as a draftsman in Lawton, and later for the Tahlequah Pictorial Press and the Green Country Neighbor as a graphic artist. He served as editor of the Tahlequah Times Journal until retirement.
Leon was an avid reader and enjoyed studying Buddhist philosophies as a peaceful approach to life. He was a well-known writer, musician and artist, exploring works in many genres. He studied the Cherokee language daily and was very proud to be a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Leon created his own moccasin designs and found pleasure in such simple things as a bee buzzing around a flower and watching his dog Truffle chase rabbits and squirrels. He also had a rare and intense wit that was enjoyed by many. He was a member of the Illinois River Militia and Garden Club and loved his Vietnam veteran buddies.
Pallbearers for his service were Jack Bryant, Les Carter, Brandon Hobson, Barney Ingram, Von Keesee, and John Reid III. Honorary Pallbearers were James Clark, John Davidson, Chuck Gay, Mike Jett, Bob Kane, and Bruce Taylor.
The family suggests donations in Leon's honor to the American Legion Post 50.
Published on October 24, 2017