John L. Briggs, Sussex construction magnate

September 25, 2013

John L. Briggs, 97, passed away Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at Beebe Medical Center, Lewes.

John was born in Montrose, Pa., the oldest son of Dora Jane and Lewis Briggs. He had resided in Delaware since 1936. In 1946 John (Jack) started John L. Briggs Construction Co. John built many homes, schools, supermarkets and government buildings in Sussex and Kent counties. He sold the business in 1979 and it is still operational today.

He started his contruction career building homes and built many in Henlopen Acres in Rehoboth. John also owned and ran Briggs Hardware Company, Briggs Realty and Briggs Family Enterprises in Georgetown. He was an instructor at Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus, teaching in the Construction Management Program from 1980-85. Also, during this time he worked for Sussex Trust bank doing inspections and construction management.

In 1985, Beebe Medical Center contracted John to oversee the new additions to the hospital until 1995. John was a member and past elder of the Georgetown Presbyterian Church since 1948. He was a member of the Lions Club from 1950 until 1975, Odd Fellows, and served on the Levy Court in 1966 and helped to initiate the Emergency Operations Center. In 1972 to 1977 he was on the advisory committee of the Farmers Bank and served on the board of directors of the Sussex Trust Company from 1977-88. He was a 50-year member of Union Lodge IOOF and was a former member of the Chamber of Commerce.

Besides his business interests, John was devoted to his family and enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. He was always available to lend a helping hand to those in need.

John was preceded in death by his parents; daughters, Rebecca Taylor Briggs and Vera Single; grandson, John L. Adams; brothers, Warren and George Briggs; and sister, Dora Louise Hauck.

John is survived by his wife, Bessie; daughters, Eleanor Adams (George), and Dora Jane George (Robert) of Georgetown; four grandchildren, Alphie Adams of Seaford, Travis George of Georgetown, Devin George of Georgetown, and Renee Single of Virginia Beach, Va.; two stepsons, Kenneth Evans (Andrea) of Dagsboro, and Louis Evans (Anna) of Ft. Myers, Fla.; two brothers, David of Millsboro and Theodore of Dover; one sister, Marcella Reeser of New Jersey; and two great-grandsons; and many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff at Harrison House of Georgetown and Beebe Medical Center at Lewes, for the care John received.

A funeral service was held Wednesday, Sept. 25, at Georgetown Presbyterian Church, 203N Bedford St., Georgetown. Interment was in Union Cemetery in Georgetown.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be donated to: Georgetown Presbyterian Church, PO Box 46, Georgetown, DE 19947.