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Published: Saturday, 12/30/2006

Farmer was on bank board, ran businesses

WALDRON, Mich. - James P. Briskey, 73, a lifelong local farmer and a former business owner, died of cancer Wednesday at his home here.

Mr. Briskey farmed wheat, soybeans, and corn on about 300 acres in Waldron that he owned and rented from about 1960 until October, when his health declined.

He was an owner and operator of Prattville Fertilizer and Grain from its inception in 1967 until the late 1980s, when he sold it.

Mr. Briskey also owned and operated two grain elevators - Briskey Elevator of Quincy, Mich., in the 1970s and the 1980s, and Pittsford Grain from 1969 to 2005. He sold both facilities.

He also served on the board of directors at Southern Michigan Bank and Trust for 25 years until 2005, when he decided to retire from it.

"Farming was his passion," his daughter, Donna Suboski, said.

"He was hard-working, devoted, honest, and generous," she said.

A native of Toledo, Mr. Briskey was raised in Waldron, helping out on a family farm here.

After graduating in 1951 from Waldron High School, Mr. Briskey worked at railroad construction in the Waldron area and was a truck driver until 1953.

He was drafted into the Army near the end of the Korean War. He was a mechanic at an Army base in West Germany until his honorable discharge in 1955.

After his discharge, Mr. Briskey returned to the greater Toledo area.

He was an assembly line worker at the old Jeep plant for a time before returning to farming.

Mr. Briskey was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Hudson, Mich.

His other local memberships included the Leonard T. Simmons VFW Post 5791, Waldron.

Surviving are his wife of 46 years, Eva; son, William; daughters, Barbara Fether, Mary Shatter, Teresa Boyer, and Donna Suboski; brothers, Jerry, Paul, and John; sisters, Michelin Dietrich, Pauline Schaedler, and Margaret Briskey, and 16 grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Arrangements are by the Eagle Funeral Home, Hudson.

The family suggests tributes to the Father H. Paul Ruddy Education Endowment Fund or Hospice of Hillsdale County.

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