Irene (Freeman) Briggs

May 17, 1949 ~ July 3, 2019 (age 70)




I have finished now with this house of clay,

Please, kindly and carefully lay it away,

And, let me rest from this life of pain;

Toiling in sunshine, storm and rain,

Trying to help the sick and the poor,

And turning no needy from my door.


Irene Freeman Briggs began her earthly journey on May 17, 1949, the 2nd child of Nathaniel Freeman and Maxine Ashley Freeman. She was born in Sanford, Florida. Irene graduated from the Lee Street High School, Blackshear, GA in the year of 1967. After High School she enrolled in the Job Corp- thus sending her back on her journey to Detroit, Michigan. 


October 10, 1971, she married Israel Briggs, to this union a son was born; Randy Dion Briggs. She joined the City of Detroit Police Department in 1977. She served on the Police Force for 30 years and retired on July 7, 2007. Again, she made her way back home to Patterson, GA. This began another employment with The Ware State Prison as a Correction Officer in Waycross, GA. She was known within and throughout the  Prison walls as “Sergeant Briggs and Gangster Granny”. Irene was a person that gave respect to all, but, she demanded respect also. A person that went strictly by the books, no matter who you were; if anything was on your person that shouldn’t be; you were detained at the entrance. During her career, she received many awards. She decided to retire from the Prison, but stayed on in order to train others.


In 2008, she reconnected with the St. James Missionary Baptist Church; Patterson, GA. Irene served on the Usher Ministry, Trustee Board, Vice President of the Senior Mission Ministry and Vice President of the Usher Ministry. Her passion was talking to the young people, helping them to realize that there are always consequences to our actions. Encouraging them to dress appropriately, watch your friendship association, stay in school and have great work ethics. She loved the children, but she took Al Ashley under her wings, calling him “Her Boo”, always admonishing him to do what’s right whether alone or under supervision.

Dea. Robert Ashley’s home was the place for our Sunday Dinner; Irene would prepare a feast, enough food to feed the community. The house was full of love. Prayer before the meal, and watching football, laughter and plenty of talking. Then it was time to go home and watch Columbo.


Irene's earthly journey ended July 3, 2019 at the Satilla Medical Center, Waycross,

Irene Freeman Briggs is preceded in death by her parents; Nathaniel Briggs and Maxine Ashley Freeman; husband, Israel Briggs; Two brothers, Kelvin and Mark Freeman. One sister, Joan Freeman.


Those left to cherish her memories are her son, Randy Dion Briggs, Texas; Four brothers: Robert L. Freeman, Jacksonville, FL; James H. Freeman, Atlanta, GA; Albert (Pam) Freeman, Detroit, MI; Bennie E. Freeman, Oklahoma. Four Sisters: Patricia Dobson, Waycross, GA; Villira Bates (Jeffrey) Jones; Joyce Freeman; and Vivian Freeman, Detroit, MI. One Aunt, Catherine (Lindsay) Vail, Waycross, GA; Two close childhood, renewed friends; Patricia Wilson and Estella Ashley, Patterson, GA. Numerous loving Nieces, Nephews, Cousins and Friends.


Arrangements entrusted to Rainge Memorial Chapel, Blackshear, GA. Visitation will be held on Friday from 6:00  to 8:00 pm. Funeral Service will be held at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, Patterson, Ridge, GA. Committal will be at Gethsemane Cemetery, Patterson, GA .

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Irene (Freeman) Briggs, please visit our floral store.


July 12, 2019

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Rainge Memorial Chapel, Inc.
505 Ware St.
Blackshear, GA 31516

Funeral Service
July 13, 2019

11:00 AM
St. James Baptist Church Cemetery of Patterson (The Ridge)
5610 Aarons Way
Patterson, GA 31557

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