OBITUARY

Arthur Gordon Briggs

April 5, 1951July 23, 2021

On July 23rd, 2021, our brilliant friend, beloved father, and devoted husband, Arthur Gordon Briggs, left us suddenly and unexpectedly at Southlake Regional Hospital in Newmarket, ON.

Art was magnetic and hilarious, crotchety and kind, he was absolutely perfect. He gave us a thousand reasons to laugh and a few reasons to grumble too. He loved a good grumble. His last years were rich, wildly happy, and full of love. He listened to great music, drank mediocre Starbucks coffee, and took long walks with his beautiful wife, Debbie, and his awful (but much adored) dog Eddie. He drank warm Guinness in Ireland, rode a gondola in Venice, and drove across Canada to the Atlantic coast in a pick up truck. He held his just-born grandbabies and marveled at them as they grew. He loved the same incredible woman for a half a century. And she loved him back. Fiercely. His closest, deepest friendships were with his children, Arthur, Shannon, and Erin, and their partners Duyen, Buckley, and Mike. There were long, silly phone conversations and short ones where he just wanted to gossip and be caught up on the day. Their interests were his interests. He took up every passion, pastime, and problem as though it were his own. Begrudgingly, he became a cat person, a horse person, and a foodie. There were many evenings spent with Nashville hot chicken and American Idol, and even more afternoons in the pool with vodka drinks and not enough sunscreen. He was the best dad. Full stop. He never trusted a politician or a doctor or a dentist, he trusted his mechanic, the pest control guy, and his brother, Jim. Art loved the Blue Jays and hated the Blue Jays. He was a hat person but not a sock person. In 1981 he started Dominion Customs Consultants with his friend John Preston. They were still working side-by-side when he died. He loved the people he worked with and believed in them wholeheartedly. He was loyal, generous, inquisitive, and a dedicated mentor. Dominion was his second home and he always liked to pop into the office, even if all he had to do that day was play solitaire. Our hearts are broken but they are so, so full. We are grateful for every single smile, sudoku puzzle, and story he shared with us.

In lieu of flowers, the family would love for you to make a donation to the charity of your choice.

Services

  • Visitation

    Thursday, July 29, 2021

Memories

Arthur Gordon Briggs

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Helen Johnston

July 29, 2021

Hey Art,

Who would have ever thought that you would leave this world in the prime of your life? Over the 9 plus years that I worked in Dominion, you consistently showed the best traits of an excellent leader and it was my pleasure to have worked with you. Your scrupulous honesty, humility, humour, (occasionally interspersed with some grumbling) along with your work ethic combined with your passion for your work which you shared with all, were the perfect example of a caring, benevolent leader.

You did inspire me to be a better person and I thank you for being such a great mentor.

My heartfelt condolences to your family on the loss of their husband, father and grandfather.

Art, you are a great man. Well done fella!





Beverly Walsh

July 27, 2021

27 years ago I walked through the doors of Dominion and met the man who would become my mentor, my teacher, my motivation to be better. He inspired me to expand my knowledge of everything Customs, to think outside the box, and to challenge the "unchallengeable." In the world of Customs, he was not one to take no for an answer if he thought there was a way for the answer to be yes - and more often than not there was; he was passionate about Dominion, about the people he worked with and truly believed we could accomplish great things - and over the years we certainly did! He was without a doubt a trailblazer and innovator in the industry. I am forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me at Dominion. I too owe a great deal to Art.
Over the years, I came to know that not only was he passionate about Dominion, but his passion for everything family was undeniable. He never hesitated to tell me to be with my family when a crisis arose, often offering a personal anecdote to reassure me things would work out or to bring levity to the situation or he would just listen. For these times I am also forever grateful.
Debbie, he loved the family he created with you and was so proud of you Arthur, Shannon, and Erin. I will hold dear the memories I have when the discussions of work were over, and the conversation would turn to family. When he spoke of his family and the accomplishments of his children his entire face would light up and you could see the twinkle in his eyes...you meant the world to him...and the grandbabies, oh how he loved being a grandpa and relished every opportunity to spend time with these wonderful miracles. Hold on to these moments and memories.
Art, rest in peace, know that we at Dominion will do our very best to carry on your legacy; you were known as the best in the industry so these are big shoes to fill but you taught us to rise to such challenges...
Cheers Art, you will be greatly missed, but not forgotten
Beverly

Shelly and Charlie Micallef

July 26, 2021

We knew Arthur mostly through Erin and Mike. What we knew was a man who was kind, loving and dedicated to his beautiful wife and family. We know the deep love he inspired in Erin. We know he was kind and welcoming to our son - Michael who also loved him. We are so very sorry for your loss and want you to know we are thinking of all of you.

Rick O'Connor

July 26, 2021

Hi Art.

I am so sorry I did not have a chance to say goodbye. You are a stand-up guy, always looking out for your family and your co-workers.

We have so many memories . . . family get togethers, sad times and good times, all meaningful moments in our lives and I want to thank you for being part of ours. God bless you Art!

Rick & Karen

Lynne O’Connor

July 26, 2021

In memory of Art ….
Art will always hold a special place in my heart. From all the love and laughter our families shared growing up, we carry treasured memories of celebrations and get togethers that stay with us forever. As life progressed and everyone cultivated their own path, time became seamless. If it were at a family function or simply a random phone call, Art and I always had lots to talk about. Despite our busy schedules, it felt like no time had passed. The bond was always there like true family. I will remember him always as a deeply caring and extremely sentimental human being who would do anything for the people he loved. I will miss him, yet his memory will live on in my heart. Peace be with you Art, love you always! Your cousin, Lynne🌹

Kyle O'Connor

July 26, 2021

Art was a great person and a great mentor. He had a wealth of customs knowledge and I learned a lot from him over the years. He was a tremendous example of hard work and dedication. He inspired those around him, with his dedication to his craft and the way he believed in his employees. He truly believed in us and it meant so much to know that. I owe a lot to Art. He, along with John, provided me with an opportunity to make a good living and build a nice life. I could never thank him enough for what he's done for me and I will always be grateful for him.

Art and I shared the same love/hate relationship with the Blue Jays. Many times Art would visit me in my office and more recently, during the pandemic, he would call me, to discuss the status of an audit or issue. Once we had finished that discussion, we would chat for a bit, usually about the Blue Jays. How could they score 10 runs in one game and not score in the next two?! How come they could never cash in those runs from third, with less than two outs?! In one of our most recent and final conversations, we discussed the state of the Blue Jays' bullpen and we agreed that we should both start warming up our pitching arms, in case the Jays needed us. Quite honestly, I think we would have looked great in those powder blue uniforms! I'll never forget those conversations.

When we weren't discussing work or the Jays, our talks would center around family. Art loved his family so much. He truly loved all of you and he was so very proud of you. He would always keep me updated on how everyone was doing. He doted lovingly on Debbie, and beamed with pride any time he talked about Arthur, Shannon, Erin, their significant others, his beloved grandchildren, Jim and Dave. That is what I will remember most.

My family and I send our deepest condolences to your family, during this difficult time.

Cheers to you, Art! Thank you for everything. I promise I'll work harder than ever.

Kyle

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY