Joseph Ralph Brigham, Jr., died Saturday, January 19, 2019 at the age of 78, peacefully passing at the Merrimack County Nursing Home. He was born in Brockton, MA on September 29, 1940 as the eldest child of Joseph Ralph and Edith (Howard) Brigham.
Joe was a hard-working helicopter pilot, learning his trade in the Army and subsequently working for Wiggins Airways. Joe became a self-employed pilot in 1983, as owner and operator of what is now known as JBI Helicopters. Joe was in the Army National Guard for 25 years in CT, RI and NH. Joe also was a consultant and examiner with the Federal Aviation Association, working through his "retirement" in 1995 up until 2018.
Joe was a fun guy who loved to travel, to play dominoes, travel to Don Pedro Island by boat and most of all, loved to work. Joe was a man in charge and contributed to many community organizations - the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Bow Community Men's Club, Pelican Point Condo Association, Red Cross, Concord Hospital, Knights of Columbus, to name only a few. He participated in countless other committees and volunteer opportunities wherever he lived. Joe loved family and to be able to provide his wife, children and grandchildren as many experiences and opportunities as possible. He was exceedingly proud of all of his family member's accomplishments, and might sometimes "embellish" stories with extras to paint us all in the very best light. Joe's smile and welcoming demeanor allowed him to make friends easily, and he was often considered a legacy in both the aviation industry as well as in his personal relationships.
Joe is survived by his wife of 54 years, Cathy (Benea) Brigham, two daughters, Terri Stutzman and husband, Paul of Scituate, MA, Leigh Ellen Watt and husband, Bob of Bow, NH, and son, Greg Brigham, of Norwich, CT. He leaves behind 4 beloved grandchildren, Dellene, Robert, Kate and Jessica. Joe was predeceased by his parents and leaves behind two brothers, Tom and Bobby.
The Brigham family would like to extend a heartfelt note of gratitude toward all the medical professionals who have lead us through a challenging path, and to all our friends and community members who have supported our family through Joe's failing health. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you honor Joe by making a donation to one of the non-profit charities important to him, or one that has heartfelt meaning to you. Stories and kind words of sympathy can be shared on https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/joebrigham/journal, a website that has connected the many parts of Joe's world, and has been a profound resource to us on this journey.
Calling hours will be held at Christ the King Parish (St. John's) at 72 South Main Street in Concord on Wednesday between 4-6:30pm. A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 11am, at the same location, with an informal luncheon gathering following the mass. A private burial will be held in the spring.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Bennett Funeral Home of Concord. Online condolences may be expressed at www.bennettfuneral.com.