- Post 16 December 2011
- By Portia A. Scott
- Hits: 568
Rev. Byron E. Thomas, pastor at Central United Methodist Church, officiated at the funeral service for Mattie Harper Briscoe recently, referring to her lengthy life as well-lived and Godly. She was at peace with family and friends when she died at home at age 98.
The deceased was well thought of as she was remembered as a true servant of God who will never be forgotten on Dec. 14, 11 a.m. at Central.
A former teacher of algebra and home economics at her alma mater, Booker T. Washington High School, she was remembered by many as one who trusted in God and had the courage and strength of a strong Black woman. "She was part of our beloved family at Central and she had a phenomenal memory," said church member Joyce Jones. Jones also remembered her sense of humor, her storytelling, and her Sunday School commitment of some 40 years. The deceased was also active in AARP and the Westwood Guild. "She was one-of- a-kind who had a strong commitment to life," Jones added.
William (Bill) Harbor, recalled how he worked with her late husband, Lt. Marc Briscoe, and remembered how her husband never missed her birthday. A true friend for some 30 years, he thanked the deceased for "a great ride." Rev. Yolanda E. Thompson of Clark Atlanta University Sigma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., said Mattie Briscoe "paved the way for so many women and we honor her today for her great love of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority."
A salutatorian of her class at Clark College, the deceased holds a master's degree from Atlanta University in education, and retired from teaching after 35 years of touching and shaping the lives of thousands of students. When her late husband was transferred abroad, she traveled with him to Japan and Germany and taught there.
Alva Tabor, a son-in-law, called her "a true hero who was a very generous giver and knew how to sacrifice for others."
Tabor said she was compassionate, calm and insightful and knew no strangers. He also recalled how "tough she was, yet gentle and patient. She was victorious as she walked and worked this earth. She made her transition peacefully with her family by her bedside," he recalled.
Mattie Briscoe was born on Dec. 16, 1912, to Bert and Rosa Harper in south Atlanta near The New Schools of Carver. She graduated from BTW and finished Clark College in 1935, second in her class. She immediately taught school at BTW and later received her master's. She was married to Marc and they enjoyed 53 years of marital bliss. From this union came two daughters, Marcia and Julia.
An avid traveler and dedicated volunteer, the deceased was a member of several organizations, including the Joyman Wives, the Fulton County Council on Aging, Retired Teachers Association and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., where she was one of the oldest living members. As a "Delta Dear," she was currently a member of the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Hall of Fame. She was an active member of Central, where she taught Sunday School and was a member of the United Methodist Women and the ROSA Senior AARP.
In eulogizing Briscoe, Rev. Thomas praised her as one who served God and "lived a long and well life." She was a woman of substance and quality, who knew how to balance her sorority, work, church, and AARP. "We can say in confidence that she lived a life with God and He awarded her with righteousness." Rev. Thomas concluded, the deceased was "a job well-done."
A medley of songs was played by Lawrence Weaver, with a musical selection from Michael Hoskin, saxophonist, and a solo by Sandra Livsey-Martin.
Briscoe was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Marc, who passed in 1997, and is survived by two daughters, Marcie Briscoe and Julie Tabor; grandchildren, Addis Lewis (Jerel), Jolen and William Tabor, several nieces, grandnephews and a host of family and friends.
Murray Brothers Funeral Home gave acknowledgements, handled the remains and was in charge of the burial held at Westview Cemetery.