Online Obituaries

Online Obituaries

Patricia M Briggs

July 12, 1936 - June 8, 2017

Service Date: June 13, 2017

Funeral Home Kerr-Parzygnot Chicago Heights Funeral Home

Place of Service St Agnes

Visitation Monday from 4pm to 8pm

Obituaries » Patricia M Briggs

Patricia was born in Chicago on July 12, 1936, the oldest child of Millard and Patsy McCarthy Briggs. Millard, or Mel as he was known, was a professional entertainer from New York who sang and danced. Patricia’s mother was also a professional dancer and performed in a high wire act. They met in New York, but had moved to Chicago by the time Patricia was born.

Patricia had a younger sister, Kathleen, and a younger brother, Frank. Patricia developed an interest in theatre and dance at an early age, and for her senior year of high school at Academy of Our Lady (Longwood), she attended high school classes during the day, and at night, took voice, diction, and acting lessons at Goodman School of Drama. After high school, Patricia continued at Goodman and enrolled in the academic program at Loyola. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, majoring in Directing.

Following college, Patricia was appointed Director of the Children’s Theatre Division of the Des Moines Community Playhouse, and then in 1961, she started as the Director of the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, in Palo Alto, California, where she stayed for 47 years. She directed over 500 productions, and wrote over 20 scripts. She received many awards and national recognition in her role. In 2003, she was named Woman of the Year for the 21st Assembly District of the State of California.

Although many of her former students went on to professional theatre, including Broadway and television roles, her many former students recall that the values that she and her Assistant Director, Michael Litfin, taught them prepared them well for life no matter what field they went into, developing self-esteem, articulation, respect for all jobs, and responsibility.

Patricia was also very involved in her church, St. Thomas Aquinas, in Palo Alto, and served on three committees there. She adored traveling, and frequently visited Hawaii. Her last big trip was a cruise to Alaska with her nieces Marie and Joanie last August, to celebrate her 80th birthday.  She loved visiting her brother Frank and sister-in-law Charlene in Chicago and their three sons, Frankie, Eddie, and Robert, and daughter-in-law Robin. She also enjoyed daily calls to her sister, Kathleen, and brother-in-law Bob in San Diego, and liked to visit them along with their children: Marie, Bobby, and Joanie. All of her great-nieces and nephews looked forward to her visits: Frankie, Bridget, Christina, Jimmy, Tyler, Rebecca, Eddie Jr., Robert Jr., and Nicholas. She leaves a profound legacy, and was cherished by her family and friends, as well as the Palo Alto community.

Services will be held beginning with visitation on Monday, June 12, 2017, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kerr-Parzygnot Funeral Home, 540 Dixie Hwy. (at Joe Orr Rd.), Chicago Heights, IL. Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 13, at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1501 Chicago Rd., Chicago Heights. Interment: Assumption Cemetery, Glenwood, IL.