Ruth I. Briney, 95, of Niles

Published 2:22 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Born: Sept. 1, 1917

Died: July 20, 2013

Ruth I. Briney, 95, of Niles, Mich., died at 9:40 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, 2013 at her home following a brief illness.



She was born on Sept. 1, 1917 in Medford, Wisc., to Bernard and Inez Ruth (Grant) Molitor. She was graduated from Kenosha (Wisconsin) High School and in 1936 moved to Eau Claire, Mich., where she earned the Licensed Practical Nurse from Lake Michigan College. She was employed in the surgical suites of the former Berrien General Hospital (now Lakeland Specialty) in Berrien Center, and the former Mercy Hospital in Benton Harbor.

While in Eau Claire, she was a member of the Congregational Church, served as the Pipestone Township Treasurer, and was President of the former Tri-County Council of the Girl Scouts of America (now Northern Indiana-Michiana). She was also a member of the Berrien County Democratic Party.

In 1966, Ruth moved with her husband, Cliff to Crystal Falls, Mich., where they owned and operated the Chippewa Resort. She served as Forth District Iron County Commissioner from 1985 to 1990, was appointed to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Grant Fund, and hosted a radio show on natural resources and tourism for the Upper Peninsula.

In 1993 they retired to Florida, where she founded the Upper Pinellas County Democrats of Clearwater. She returned to Michigan in 2001 to live near her daughters in Niles, and became a member of Saint Mary Catholic Church.

On Aug. 8, 1936 in Louisville, Kentucky she married Clifford E. Briney with whom she celebrated the fifty-third anniversary of their wedding prior to his death in 1989. She was also preceded in death by a son, Marshall Briney in 2003, an infant daughter in 1943; her parents, and her brothers, Frederick and Loren Molitor and sister, Jean Thompson.

Surviving family includes her children, Judith Kocsis, Leslie Grant (& Linda) Briney, and Janis Corredo (with whom she lived since 2003), all of Niles; nine grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and seven great-great-grandchildren; and her sister, Joyce Kuhlman of Holly Hills, Fla.

The Memorial Mass for Ruth Briney will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles by the Rev. David Otto of the parish. Interment will be at Caldwell Cemetery in Eau Claire privately at a later date.

The family will receive relatives and friends at the church beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Contributions in memory of Ruth may be made to Hospice at Home. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles.