Dr. Thomas “Doc” Brigham, the Father of Southern Skiing, Dies at Age 83

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Dr. Tom Brigham, the founder of Sugar, Beech and Snowshoe Mountains, died this week. He was 83 years old. While Doc Brigham was a dentist by trade (and a professor at the UAB School of Dentistry) he was well known amongst ski area management and fans of the Southeast ski resorts as “The Father of Southern Skiing".

He pioneered the development of Beech and Sugar Mountains in North Carolina and later did the same in Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. He was truly a Renaissance man and visionary developer. Dr. Brigham loved the outdoors, skiing, fly fishing, painting, and golfing. He was also passionate about creating & developing ski slopes, homes, and lifestyles in the recreational arena.

According to his obit, he was extremely proud of the economic tax base that the resort and recreational industry provided through new opportunities and jobs for the people in the Appalachian Mountain regions.

Doc Brigham is recognized throughout Snowshoe’s complex with pictures and paintings on numerous lodge walls and offices and Snowshoe has one of its ticket and one of the main shuttle stop areas known as "The Brigham Center" which is one of the gateways to the Village area.

Doc still talked skiing often in the last few years even though he enjoyed the fellowship of his faithful golf buddies that became such an important part of his life during the last decade. According to his obituary, Doc passionately loved the Lord and his family. He came to Faith in Christ late in his life, but it became the cornerstone of who he was. His devotion to his beautiful wife Marye, his children, and his grandchildren was truly a magnificent thing to see.

He was a great husband, father, and friend, and will be dearly missed. Dr. Brigham is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marye Willett Brigham, sons, Thomas H. Brigham, Jr. (Cecile), and Peter W. S. Brigham (Darlene), daughter, Anne Brigham Pace, and his grandchildren, Thomas Hindley Brigham, III, Grant McNeill Brigham, Cecile Gray Pitkanen (Benton), Claiborne Pace Day (Jordan), Sarah Meade Pace, Andrew Duncan Pace, Thomas Wilson Pace, John Peter Brigham, Patrick Taylor Brigham, Lauren Cameron Brigham, and Elizabeth Marye Brigham.

A memorial service for Dr. Brigham will take place on Sunday, November 30, 2008 beginning at two o’clock in the afternoon at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, 3207 Montevallo Road, with the Reverend John Richardson officiating. The family is requesting memorials be directed to St. Peter’s Anglican Church, or The Ugandan American Partnership Organization P O Box 1243 Decatur, GA 30031.

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