The families who have come together to honor the memory of Ethel Briggs remember her soaring spirit and the love that she gave to us. She was born in Ohio, and after an active childhood, she married and settled down. She and her husband never had children of their own and moved to Tucson in the 1950s. Filled with spunk and with an ill husband to nurse, Ethel attempted to run a small construction company. Economic pressures and eventual widowhood, rather than the lack of talent or hard work, forced Ethel to look for employment elsewhere. It was then that she decided to fill a part of her soul that had long been empty. She loved children and soon found a way to help them. This was not on a grand scale, but the word got out that Ethel was a gifted caretaker. Parents could have Ethel come to their home and care for their children with total peace of mind. She was fun, fair, responsible and loving. If she had been the children's real grandmother, she could not have done a better job.
She also specialized in helping new families with the care of their little ones. She was there when they came home from the hospital and helped everyone settle into a routine. Her calm ways and endless energy helped mothers learn the ropes, get some sleep and relax about the whole business of being a mom. She was a role model and a friend. She never overextended her welcome and always loved the children above all else.
Her contribution to the happiness of our families and the welfare of our sons and daughters continued well into her 80s. Even in her final years, she watched the occasional child simply because we, as parents, just wouldn't let her say "no". Our children loved her and so did we.
Ethel passed away in the mid-1990s. By then some of the children for whom she had cared, were parents themselves. And they, no doubt, were using some of Ethel's loving ways to raise their own boys and girls.
Thanks, Ethel. You were a mother to many and a friend to all!
Submitted by a group of parents and children who will be eternally grateful for the love and support they received from Ethel.