Loretta Jean Briggs – Volga

Loretta Jean Briggs, 90, of Volga, Iowa, passed away on Friday, September 17, 2021, at the Elkader Care Center in Elkader, Iowa. She was born on September 12, 1931, in Anamosa at her grandmother Tina (Asmus) Newton’s home. She was the daughter of Dean and Edna (Newton) VanAmburg. Loretta was raised and educated in Anamosa and was a 1949 graduate of Anamosa High School.

On November 17, 1950, Loretta was united in marriage to John Briggs in Anamosa. Three children were born to this union. After starting their family, they settled near Urbana to begin farming in 1958. Loretta worked for Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids for 12 years. In 1964, the family purchased their first farm. Later they moved to a farm near Chicken Ridge, south of Elkader, where they resided until 1994, when they retired to Volga.

Loretta was a longtime member of the United Methodist Church in Volga. She enjoyed making quilts and school bags for mission projects. Loretta also made decorative pillows for all of her family members and friends.  She loved camping and fishing with Dick and Mary Briggs and Homer and Marge Curtis. Loretta was an awesome cook and made the best apple pies. Her family loved her fried chicken, homemade chicken and noodles, and the kids’ favorite, goulash. Loretta had a large garden and canned for many years. She enjoyed playing Yahtzee and cards with her grandchildren. Loretta loved her family and spending time with them.

Survivors include her three children, Ernest (Bobbie Jo Nelson) Briggs of Walker, Minnesota, Bob (Cindy) Briggs of Urbana, and Gina Lou Briggs of Volga; seven grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren, with one on the way; one brother-in-law, George “Dick” (Mary) Briggs of Lisbon; one sister-in-law, Shirley VanAmburg of Mechanicsville; and several nieces and nephews.

Loretta was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John Briggs on August 27, 2015; two brothers, Dale and Bruce VanAmburg; and her sister, Jane Paradis.

Online condolences may be left at

Because of COVID-19 concerns, masks are recommended at the church.

 A Private Family Funeral Service will take place.

Interment:  Rose Hill Cemetery – Mechanicsville, Iowa


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