Raymond Gene Briscoe died Sept. 16, 2017, due to congestive heart failure. Ray was born April 1, 1932, in Pocatello, Idaho, as the ninth of 10 children to Franklin Verner Briscoe and Eldora Jane Hansen.
He spent his childhood in Tyhee, Idaho, and graduated from Pocatello High School. Ray then attended Idaho State and Utah Agricultural College (now USU), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and participated in the ROTC. While living in Logan, Ray met Ann Kemp. They married in 1954. They had four children: Joel (Christine) of Salt Lake City, Greg of Orem, Heidi (Eric) Holmes of Bountiful, and Jon (Kaylin) of Sycamore, Ill. He considered his wife, children, 13 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren his greatest asset and blessing.
Ray served two years in the U.S. Air Force after graduating second in his ROTC class. Afterward, the small family moved to Bountiful, where Ray taught history and politics for 14 years at Bountiful High School and coached its tennis team to state placements. The years spent teaching at Bountiful High were the happiest of his professional career. While teaching, Ray pursued advanced degrees, earning a master’s in history and a doctorate in education from the University of Utah.
He later worked as an instructor at Westminster College and taught for 10 more years, where he finessed his research skills and coached its elite tennis team to a regional championship and at the national tournament. He finished his career after working for 16 years in the LDS Church’s Research Department. Ray’s teaching experiences were among the most cherished of his life. He developed a reputation as a dynamic teacher who truly loved and cared about his students and in turn was loved by them. Many of his relationships with his former students endured a lifetime.
Ray won his first of three terms on the Davis School District Board of Education in 1980. He also served on the Davis vocational school board. Throughout his life, he attended traditionally or through visiting scholarships or taught at multiple universities, including Idaho State University, Stanford, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Michigan, George Mason University, and the University of Connecticut. Before and after retirement, Ray was co-owner or owner of private survey and research companies, traveled extensively, and consulted for various organizations. Ray helped create the Utah 3Rs Project, which was selected by the Freedom Forum to be part of a model for First Amendment programs throughout the United States. In 2011, he wrote: We Went to School Together: Early Years of Bountiful High School.
As president of Wasatch Opinion and later, Insight Research, his clients included the UEA, various Utah governors and state and federal legislators, and several businesses and private organizations.
An active member of the LDS Church, Ray served in many teaching and leadership roles and was a devoted home teacher.
He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, and his younger brother Ralph (Lola) of Providence. He was preceded in death by his parents and eight siblings.
Funeral services will be held Friday, Sept. 22, at noon, at the Val Verda Stake Center, 2651 S. 500 West, Bountiful. Friends may visit the family Thursday, Sep. 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Russon Brothers Mortuary, 295 N. Main St., Bountiful, and Friday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. prior to the service. Interment, Bountiful City Cemetery, 2224 S. 200 West, Bountiful. Condolences may be shared at www.russonmortuary.com.
If you would like to remember Ray, the family suggests donations to the Davis Education Foundation which provides grants for classroom teachers: daviseducationfoundation.org