Mary Joan Briggs
1949 - 2020
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January 7, 1949 ˜ January 23,

Surrounded by family, and with her old yellow Labrador Murphy asleep at her feet, loving mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt MJ Briggs left us on January 23, 2020.
MJ, born in Omaha, Nebraska, January 7, 1949 to John W. and Frances Josephine Golden, enjoyed growing up on an acreage in Omaha. She attended the University of Nebraska on a full academic scholarship, graduated in 1971 and married her high school sweetheart and the love of her life William Robert (Bob) Briggs in 1975.
MJ and Bob moved to Washington State in 1976, following a brief period when Bob was stationed at Fort Lewis with the army. Three of her siblings, Ann, Jay and Sharon, soon followed them to the great Pacific Northwest. MJ and Bob bought an old farm house on acreage east of Battle Ground, WA that became the social hub with friends and family gathering often for pig roasts, volleyball tournaments, or just playing guitars by a fire under the stars.
MJ had a rich career that spanned many economic sectors, but her calling was to serve in local government. In 1977 she started with the City of Vancouver as a Staff Assistant and over the subsequent 20 years advanced to the role of Deputy City Manager, breaking many gender barriers along the way.
In 1997 she was recognized by the YWCA as an outstanding woman of achievement. MJ was always drawn to service and community, a trait she worked to pass on to her two sons by taking them to many “City of Vancouver clean up” events, as well as other city sponsored civic events. She served on many boards and associations, including an appointment by the Washington State Governor to the public works trust board.
Following her tenure with the City of Vancouver, she served as the city administrator for Fairview, OR and Bainbridge, WA. She had been happily retired for ten years, enjoying all that the good life offers-family, friends, gardening, entertaining, cooking and travel.
MJ lived an amazing life exploring the world with her true love Bob, including many sailing trips all around the world. She adored her grandchildren, and will be long remembered for her love of life, generosity, amazing culinary and gardening skills, adventures, kind accepting nature, loyalty, insight, humor and love of anything water-rivers, lakes, oceans. MJ lived her life with integrity, humor, bravery and generosity of spirit. She always had other people’s best interest at heart.
MJ was preceded in death by her parents, John and Josie Golden; husband, Bob Briggs; and sister-in-law, (Linda Golden).
She is survived by sons, Chris Briggs (wife Julia Briggs and son Ari Briggs) and Kelly Briggs (wife Sarah Briggs and children Jackson, Lucas, Hailee Briggs); brothers, Bob Golden and Jay Golden (wife Kelly Golden); sisters, Ann Golden Egle (husband Roger Egle) and Sharon Golden (husband Michael Smith); Kaleb Smith (wife Star Smith and children Ava and Blake); chosen sister, Tammie Ferguson; and chosen nephew Dairen Chase; nieces, Megan Golden Hanks (husband Daniel Hanks and soon to be born baby girl Hanks), Carly Golden (friend Charles Jansen), Bailee Rogers and Michelle Garcia (husband Jorge Garcia); nephews, Cody Golden (friend Bess Pezzini), Trey Rogers, Mike Golden (wife Christy) and Brian Golden (wife Jocelyn); and beloved yellow lab Murphy.
A celebration of MJ’s life is planned for 2p.m. on Saturday, Feburary 15th at Warehouse 23, 100 Columbia Street #102, Vancouver, WA 98660.
Please sign her guest book @

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Published in The Columbian on Feb. 2, 2020.
Celebration of Life
02:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
February 11, 2020
Oh! so many years ago. A time of new surroundings in the 'new' Op Center. MJ & I were the only female type people there for a while. We shared so many things, mainly her guidance. She eventually took over the Op Center as manager - a milestone in the City 's good ole boys regime, from there she moved up & out handling each new venture with professional grace.
Let's all raise a glass in a toast to a great lady - MJ RIP
Jacki Unger
February 6, 2020
I was introduced to Mary Jo through her sister, Ann and my sister, Judy.
First thing you noticed was that smile and the warmth of her personality that drew you in.
My thoughts and prayers to her family.
Diane Huss
February 5, 2020
Mary Jo will be missed. She was strong and positive as she guided the City of Vancouver through challenging times. My heart goes out to her family.
Judy Zeider
February 5, 2020
I had great respect for Mary Jo. I remember she was the last interview I went to before being hired by the City. It was an honor to work with her.
Pam Brokaw
February 4, 2020
MJ drove to Bainbridge Island in December to celebrate our anniversary with us even though she wasn't feeling that well. This speaks volumes to the kind of caring friend she was. She always sparkled with her positivity and we miss her and Bob so much. We're grateful for all the fun times we had together. Our thoughts are with her loving family.
Trude & Mike LISAGOR
February 4, 2020
I'm so sad to learn of Maryjo's passing. We worked together at the city of Vancouver in the public works department many years ago. I always admired her. My sympathy to her family.
Anita Carpenter
February 3, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the Briggs and Goldens and "Murphy". Mary Jo was always so kind and welcoming to me at The City of Vancouver. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. Fellow Lab Lover and Battle Ground resident
Julie Syverson
February 2, 2020
My heartfelt condolences go out to all the Briggs and Golden Family! Mary Jo was one of the sweetest, most caring people that I had the pleasure of knowing. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Ann Brown/Geopforth
February 2, 2020
I didn't know MJ as long as most others that loved her but I loved her no less. From the moment we met, we had a connection and a commonality that is rare in this life. She was one of the most positive people I've ever known. She made me better. MJ was my dear friend and confidante. I'll miss her forever. Always RIP.
Angie Williams
February 2, 2020
So saddened to hear of MJ's passing...was just getting to know her and "Murphy" in our beautiful Camellia neighborhood.

We send prayers and positive thoughts to her family...she was a super woman!

Connie & Bill Lovejoy
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