Rick E. Briggs, International Man of Mystery, passed away unexpectedly on November 24, 2021, at the age of 65. He was born in 1956 to Jack and Donna Rae Briggs of Canton, Ohio.
A serial entrepreneur since high school, Rick operated multiple businesses concurrently over the course of his life, including an advertising agency, miniature golf course, and novelty gift company. A man of varied interests and many talents, he developed airplane condos, managed beachfront rentals in Siesta Key, Florida, created and led SeniorTV for 26 years, and, most recently, designed and built The Garage Business Suites and Meeting Center, a business and event space in Akron, Ohio, with the only known operational “Cone of Silence” in existence. He held a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from Kent State University and was active in many social and business organizations. Rick’s crowning achievement was having his Briggs Gift Co. products featured on the Paul Harvey and Johnny Carson shows, consequently selling a half million cans of baked beans. Throughout all these professional endeavors, Rick lifted others up along with him, inspiring people to join him in being part of something greater than themselves. His love language was giving people a first or second chance.
Rick could never be still—he spent his free time flying his Cessna T210 and a Great Lakes biplane, cross country motorcycle touring, Porsche 944 racing, scuba diving, boating, and developing and leading WTF tours in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and Sarasota, Florida. He loved traveling, recording everything and editing movies, spoiling his grandchildren, crafting elaborate pranks and gag gifts at a moment’s notice, surprising people with the unexpected, flying somewhere just to eat breakfast, and making friends everywhere he went.
He was a master at living who made no distinction between work and fun. His sense of humor and devotion to practical jokes were attributes coming in at a close second to his generosity. He always had an idea or way to help, and would open up a world of possibilities you never knew existed (probably because he had invented most of them). Through his actions he taught us all that you can never take too many photos, time spent creating joy is time well spent, to live without fear and with determination to achieve what matters most to you, and not to underestimate the importance of a nice bathroom.
Countless people have said “I want to be like Rick when I grow up”— now is that time.
Rick was preceded in death by his father, Jack Briggs. He is survived by his co-pilot in life, Pamela Pirogowicz; daughters Amy (Josh Rodgers), Ali (Gustavo Carvalho); former spouse, Diane Briggs; mother, Donna Rae Briggs; brothers Don (Bonnie), Tim (Barb), and Tom (Denise) Briggs; grandchildren Lake and Cole Rodgers; Pam’s children Alyse and Justin; nieces, nephews, and innumerable friends from every walk of life.
A celebration of Rick’s incredible life will be held on Sunday, December 19, at 3:00 p.m. in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Please RSVP here. We will be following strict CDC COVID guidelines to keep our friends and family safe. Please bring proof of vaccination, or if you are not fully vaccinated bring a negative COVID test and wear a mask.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rick’s memory to the Rick E. Briggs Spirit in the Sky Fund of Akron Community Foundation. Donate online here or make checks payable to the 'Rick Briggs S.I.T.S. Fund of ACF' and mail to Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307. The fund will be used to support causes close to Rick’s heart.
The family would so appreciate stories of his exploits, generosity, jokes, and any other way that he impacted your life. Please share a memory here.