Edwin Graham Brigance, 93, passed away Sunday, May 5th, 2019 at Paris Regional Medical Center.
A memorial will be held at Central Presbyterian Church on Saturday May 18th at 11am.
Edwin, the son of Elizabeth Graham and Preston Massey Brigance, was born on March 22nd, 1926 in Ardmore, Oklahoma. He started public school in Ardmore until his Junior year. Ed attended Sawnee Military Academy his senior year and then returned to Ardmore to graduate with his class in 1944. He was then drafted to the Army during WWII, and sent to Europe from 1944-1946. He was sent as replacement and saw lots of action. After returning to the states, he was assigned to the 2nd Army headquarters in Memphis and after a few months he was given his honorable discharge. He received the Bronze Star Medal, which is given for meritorious achievement in ground combat. In September of 1946 he enrolled in East Central State College in Ada, Oklahoma. His Junior year he enrolled at the University of Oklahoma where he received his Bachelor of Music Education in January 1951. His teaching career began in Watonga, Oklahoma in March of 1951. He met the love of his life Carlyss Teal who was the choir director in Nowata, OK, in 1955 while teaching there. After 33 years of teaching in Oklahoma and Texas Public Schools, he retired in Paris, Texas. Upon retirement he drove cars for auto dealers for 11 years. He was dedicated to serving as a Lay leader in the Episcopal Church, which he did for many years. He was a life member of VFW Post 3990 and was honored to perform taps at military funerals. He also enjoyed sail boating with friends and family. Besides teaching, performing with a group was his passion. He played trumpet and string bass professionally with big bands and various musical combos, performing in nightclubs, country clubs, and private parties. He was also a member of the Paris Municipal Band for 22 years.
He is survived by wife of 65 years, Carlyss Teal Brigance, son, David Brigance, daughter, Lauren Preece, and grandchildren, Bridget Holden, Jeri and David Preece, Brianne Valesquez, Brittany Davis, and Bradley Brigance and great-grandchildren, Arabella Holden, Jameson McKnight, Violet Preece, Isaac and Tristan Valesquez.
Online condolences may be sent to the Brigance family at www.fry-gibbs.com