Obituary of Denise Briggs Bekiaris
On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, the world lost Denise Briggs Bekiaris, a wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend who loved boundlessly and unconditionally. Her loving and devoted husband Jim and her sons John and Gregory will cherish her memory forever.
Denise was born to her parents David and Ezilda Briggs on February 20, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York. She was the second of David and Ezilda’s five children and shared a beautiful, fun-filled childhood with her siblings Jill, David, Stephanie, and Andrea in Cypress Hills. As a young girl, she attended St. Rita’s Elementary School and St. Michael’s High School. An ace student, Denise went on to college at St. John’s University. While attending St. John’s, she worked for Trans World Airlines to help her parents put her through school. In 1973, Denise graduated with a major in history.
After graduating from college, Denise taught social studies at John Adams High School. She worked tirelessly to plan creative lessons and field trips that took her students’ understanding far beyond the textbook. After almost a decade of teaching, she took on a new career as a recruiter in the emerging computer programming field and eventually started her own recruiting company Data Management Systems in 1983, which she ran until 1987.
On September 17, 1983, Denise Briggs married Jim Bekiaris at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Washington Heights. In 1985, Denise and Jim moved to Little Neck, where they soon welcomed their first son John on October 16, 1985. For three-and-a-half years, Denise loved nothing more than raising John. On April 24, 1989, their second son Gregory was born, and Denise found that she had more than enough love for both of her boys.
Denise was a natural wife and mother, and her husband and sons were truly blessed by her love. With her fierce loyalty and strength, she provided companionship and protection. With her unparalleled compassion, she gave her family an overwhelming sense of security and support. With her limitless determination, she made all of her family’s dreams come true. Denise showed the same love, loyalty, and compassion to her dear nieces and nephews, who she treated like her own children. The thing Denise admired most in this world was intelligence, and she dedicated herself completely to her sons’ educations with undeniable success.
In 1996, after years of building a beautiful home for her family, Denise started another new career as a real estate agent at Little Neck Realty, where she helped others find their own future homes. She was highly regarded throughout the industry and community for her intelligence, professionalism, and charm.
Denise had many passions, and she pursued each of them wholeheartedly. From the time she was a little girl, Denise had an endless passion for movies. She never tired of rewatching her old favorites, and she was always on the lookout for the next great film. She could name Academy Award winners at the drop of a hat, and there was absolutely no mistaking her favorite stars. It was no wonder she married Jim, who works in the film business, and that movies were her family’s greatest common joy.
When her eyes weren’t focused on the silver screen, in her everlasting pursuit of knowledge, Denise was a voracious reader, a passion that lives on unquestionably in her son John. Denise’s passion and loyalty often extended to sports as well. She cultivated a love for tennis and rooted furiously for Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal. From her father and uncles, she inherited a love of the New York Yankees, and she passed her love of baseball on to her son Gregory. Her passion for history and quest for knowledge also fueled a love of travel. On top of everything else, Denise was a natural culinary master with skills and intuition in the kitchen that were truly unmatched.
Denise’s instincts as a wife and mother extended to her enduring love for animals. Most recently, she cared for a litter of kittens who were fatefully born in her Little Neck backyard. Denise gave Maggie, Elizabeth, Sawyer, Zorro, Knightley, and Cristobelle lives and love they otherwise never would have known, and they brought her immense joy in return. To help the animals that serendipity didn’t deliver to her doorstep, Denise made frequent donations to the ASPCA and other animal rights organizations to do whatever she could for helpless creatures in need.
With her every breath and every action, Denise Briggs Bekiaris brought an ever-shining light into this world. Her family and friends take solace knowing that her light will never be extinguished.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Denise’s name to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the ASPCA, or the Wounded Warrior Project.