Arsenal Technical High Class of 1939
- Benjamin Briscoe
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Born to Benjamin E. Briscoe, Sr. and Ruth (Hollingsworth) Briscoe, in
the South Brookside Park area of Indianapolis, he attended Public School #54 and
Arsenal Technical High School graduating in June, 1939. He attended Indiana
University in Bloomington, Indiana from 1940-'42 when he was called by the
military draft and served in World War II.
Ben married Wilma Bussey in 1944. She also attended Indiana University
Bloomington, but was from Marysville, Indiana where her father, Perry
Bussey, owned Marysville Hardware store. Ben and Wilma moved to Southern
California soon after they were married.
Ben received his B.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern California in 1950
and moved to Avenal, CA , a Standard Oil town, where Wilma worked in a
field office for that company and Ben taught school for thirty years. While teaching he was
also working weekends in dance bands and on a cattle ranch in the local area.
During summer vacations from 1952-'58 Ben worked as a Park Ranger in Yosemite
National Park. In 1959 he received his M.A. degree in Science Education from
California State University at San Jose, CA.
Ben retired from teaching in 1977 and went into the real estate business.
He was also involved in a commercial aviation business which he owned and flew
air taxi for hire for several years. He also retired as a search and rescue
pilot after twelve years service with the Civil Air Patrol.
Today Ben works with a university, teaching graduate students who are
in the process of qualifying for a California Teaching Credential, and he also
plays in the Fresno Shrine Band for recreation.
See below for a list of just a few of Ben's lifetime achievements.
Life member of CTA and NEA and holder of several offices
Ted Bass Memorial "Teacher in Politics" Award -- 1972
Life Member Phi Delta Kappa Honorary Fraternity in Education
Central Valley California Mensa International
Letter of Congratulations from Governor Gray Davis for his long years of service in California Schools
Life credentials in Elementary and Secondary Education as well as credentials in Administration and a Master of Arts degree in Science Education
Sigma Pi Collegiate Fraternity
Masonic Lodge -- 32nd Degree Scottish Rite
Order of Sciots in Arizona and California
Tehran Temple Shrine - Fresno
Kings County Democratic Central Committee
Board of Directors -- California Agricultural Dist. Fair
Governor's Advisory Committee on Aeronautical Education
Committee to acquire a Mental Health Clinic for Kings County
Boy and Girl Scout drives for funds and troop committeeman
Red Cross First Aid Instructor
Many different capacities in P.T.A. organizations
Professional musician in dance bands, marching bands and small combos
Ranger, Yosemite National Park
and much more . . .
Ben Briscoe, 86, died Dec. 24 in Avenal. Mr. Briscoe was an elementary school teacher for almost 30 years and a real estate agent for 11 years. He also was active in the Shriners, Elks, and Masons and was the recipient of the Hiram Award from the Masons for his volunteer work on college scholarships.
Mr. Briscoe is survived by his wife of 63 years, Wilma; and son, Alan and his wife, Laurel, and their grandson, Jordan.
Interment was held Dec. 28 at Belmont Memorial Park in Fresno. A memorial service will be held on a date to be announced in January.
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