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Longtime local business owner dies at 87

Profile image for Lucinda Breeding
Lucinda Breeding

Brian Briscoe recalled his father, Jack Edward Briscoe, as a devoted businessman who told masterful stories and volunteered in Denton schools long after his own children graduated. 

Jack Briscoe, the former owner of Briscoe Alignment & Tire, died Wednesday.  He was 87. 

"Dad built his business, which will have been here 50 years, on personal relationships," Brian Briscoe said. "He believed in talking to people, taking care of them. He was all about handshakes. He felt like if he could give that customer service himself, that would build the business. He might not have had the lowest prices all the time, but he built such a loyal following that people came here because of him. 

"The store was almost a coffee shop, kind of. People would come in just to say hello and talk."

Jack Briscoe was a Denton native, born in 1930. He graduated from Krum High School, and attended North Texas Agricultural College (now University of Texas at Arlington) and North Texas State Teachers College (now University of North Texas). He married Colleen Oliver in 1951.

Jack Briscoe went into the tire business in 1967 while working at his uncle's gas station, which was on Locust Street. In 1974, Briscoe Alignment & Tire opened on the corner of Elm and Eagle streets, where it still operates today. He managed the business into his 70s, Brian Briscoe said, and eventually sold it to a nephew. Several of Jack Briscoe's children worked at the shop over the years.

"It was important to him to keep the name out there," Brian Briscoe said. "He knew that over the years, so many people came in because of the name, or were referred to it because of the name."

The late businessman stayed busy outside of the shop, too. He and his wife reared a family - daughter Gwen Dorwalt, and sons Brian and Michael. He coached his sons' baseball teams, and both Jack and Colleen Briscoe "were involved in just about everything in Denton — Kiwanis, Rotary and the schools." At parades, you could see Jack Briscoe on horseback, riding with the Denton County Sheriff's Posse, a riding club. 

Years after his own children graduated, Jack Briscoe would read to children at Borman Elementary School. 

"He really, really enjoyed that so much," Brian Briscoe said.

The Briscoe family branched out a little, owning an antique store in Canton for about two years. When he wasn't working, Jack Briscoe was on the road with Denton and West Texas friends — he worked in the oil fields of Odessa before returning to Denton — to hunt deer, elk and moose in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. 

"They roughed it pretty good," Brian Briscoe said. "They were in tents. I think his favorite thing about those trips was sitting around the campfire telling stories."

Even after retiring in his early 70s and moving to the Good Samaritan Society-Denton Village, Jack Briscoe tried to make weekly trips to the tire store to say hello and look in on the place. He and Colleen spent years traveling the country in their recreation vehicle until health problems kept them closer to home. Brian Briscoe said his father doted on his seven grandchildren. Colleen Briscoe still lives at Good Samaritan. 

"He took all of his grandchildren on vacations," Brian Briscoe said. "They were jewels to him. My dad taught us the value of honesty and a good work ethic. And I didn't appreciate it until later, probably, but he taught me how to be a good father. He'll be missed by many."

Jack Briscoe is survived by his wife, his sisters Carolyn Waters, Vanna Ingram and Becky Buchanan, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday in the Denton Bible Church Chapel, 2300 E. University Drive. The funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Denton Bible Church Chapel. 

The Rev. Tom Nelson will officiate the service. Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park, Denton.

Funeral arrangements are through Mulkey-Bowles-Montgomery Funeral Home.