Briggs MacRae Dorian-Lawrence

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Briggs MacRae Dorian-Lawrence died Wednesday, Jan. 5. He was 19 years old. He came into this world at 11 pounds, 8 ounces and left this world standing at 6’5”.

Briggs left home at 7 a.m. Wednesday morning en route to Center for Change, where he was excited to participate in outpatient treatment for his eating disorder. At 7:40 a.m. in Spanish Fork Canyon (Utah), he drifted over the center line into oncoming traffic, colliding head-on with a truck (auto truck trailer). He died instantly.

Briggs was born on April 30, 2002, in Edmonds, Wash. He and his mother moved to Lawrence, Kan., in 2007 (his father arrived soon after), where he attended Raintree Montessori School for seven-plus years. In 2015, he and his mother moved to Mount Pleasant, Utah, where Briggs attended eighth grade at Wasatch Academy Middle School (WAMS). They moved to Atlanta in July of 2016. Briggs attended his freshman year at Riverwood International Charter School; he spent his sophomore and junior years at the Lovett School. After the death of his Aunt Pam (Dorian) Campbell, Briggs and his mother returned to Mount Pleasant, where Briggs spent his senior year. Briggs graduated with the Wasatch Academy class of 2020. In August of the same year, Briggs began his journey at Rochester Institute of Technology with what he called “his people” in Rochester, N.Y. He was a second year student at RIT at the time of his death.

Like his parents, Briggs had an interest in, and talent for, music. He began playing the viola in fourth grade, where he performed with the Spring Hill (Kan.) Orchestras. Music was always a large part of his life. He had enjoyed many accomplishments on the viola. Some highlights of his musical career include mentoring and coaching for the String Orchestra of Decatur and Atlanta (SODA), six years of wonderful experiences at the High Plains Music Camp at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan., playing the Messiah in December 2021 at Snow College (Utah), and his final performance, with the Dorian String Quartet this past Christmas Eve with Claudia, Graham and his mother, Sarah. In addition to the viola, Briggs was an avid composer of string music and creating and performing digital music.

Briggs’ profound passion for computer science, programming and gaming was beyond a deep passion, it inspired his days. Briggs was a virtuosic digital native. He had an astonishing comprehension of all things computers and was fluent in numerous programming languages. These passions culminated in the creation of his own (computer) server, in his attendance at RIT, and his prized and cherished 2021 summer IT internship at Boulevard Brewing Company (Kansas City, Mo.).

Much like his granddad, Jim, Briggs had the ability to see the world in multiple dimensions and with a surprising level of detail. He made friends and connections with both the young and the old due to his engaging personality, his deep curiosity and his passion for life. Briggs was well traveled, he made his home in many different communities and the outpouring of love that we are now receiving is a testament to the impact he had on us all.

His funeral service was held Jan. 10 in the Music Conservatory at Wasatch Academy. His celebration of life will be held on his birthday, at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 30, at St Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Pagosa Springs, Colo., where his ashes will be laid.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation in Briggs’ name to causes dear to Briggs’ heart, including any free and open source software organization, JDRF, the Humane Society (examples of links include: opencollective.com, JDRF.org, HumanSociety.org).

Briggs is survived by his mother, Sarah Dorian (of Mount Pleasant, Utah); his father, Blue Lawrence (of Shawnee, Kan.); and his brother, Austen Julka-Lawrence (30, of Renton, Wash.), his beloved Bengal cats, Hugo and Rosie. His Aunt Marjorie (Dorian) Adair (Kansas City, Mo.); her husband, Jeff, and their children, Tess (20) and James (15). His Uncle Graham Dorian (Atlanta, Ga.); his wife, Jennifer and their daughters, Claudia (20) and Rebecca (18). His Uncle Ted Campbell (North Kansas City, Mo.), and their children, George, Sam and Caroline. His Aunt Deb Lawrence (Indianapolis, Ind.). His grandparents, James and Rebecca Dorian (Pagosa Springs, Colo.); and JD and Lois Lawrence (Indianapolis, Ind.). Briggs was preceded in death by his cousin, Alyssa Joy Campbell, and his Aunt Pamela (Dorian) Campbell.

Please see his personal bio at: https://bio.henlo.us/BriggsDorian-Lawrence.