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James Hoyt Briggs

James Hoyt Briggs, age 90, Erwin, passed away peacefully on Monday, February 3, 2020 at the Johnson City Medical Center. He was a native of Madison County and a son of the late Ben and Ennis Runnion Briggs. James moved to Erwin in 1987.

He was a United States Army Veteran having served his country honorably during the Korean Conflict. James retired from Vanderbilt Shirt Company in Asheville, NC after forty years of service.

He was a man of strong Christian Faith. James attended Higgins Chapel Baptist Church and Southside Freewill Baptist Church. He was known as  “The Candy Man” because he loved handing out lollipops to the children at church! James considered everyday he lived to be a gift. He was a joyful soul and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of forty-six years, Glenna Crain Briggs on June 2, 2010; two brothers: Douglas and Charles Briggs; two sisters: Dora Jean Briggs and Louise Eller.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory, one sister, Barbara Ray, Asheville; numerous nieces and nephews and his church families.

The family would like to extend a very special thank you to everyone at Governor’s Bend for all the kindness and help extended to James and his family during his short stay there.

The family will receive friends from 12:00-2:00 PM on Friday, February 7, 2020 in the Robert Ledford Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Kevin Laws will officiate at the 2:00 PM funeral service. Interment will follow in the Upper Higgins Creek Cemetery. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, the family request memorial donations be made in memory of James to: Higgins Chapel Baptist Church, 1096 Upper Higgins Creek Road, Flag Pond, TN 37657 and/or Southside Freewill Baptist Church, 1313 Chestoa Pike, Erwin, TN 37650.

Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Briggs family through our complimentary, interactive Book of Memories at

Robert Ledford Funeral Home, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin, is privileged to serve the Briggs family.  (423) 743-1380.