Irina Zvorykin Briggs, after a courageous months-long chemotherapy battle with pancreatic cancer quietly joined her mother, "Tatiana" born Herminia Elizabeth Carolina Zalman Zvorykin and her father, Michael Zvorykin, in peaceful eternal repose. Born 01 December of 1940 in Bordeaux, France, Irina passed into a better life on 26 September of 2020 at her home in Kissimmee, Florida, with her husband, Houston Whitfield Briggs, II at her side.
Irina and her parents came to Longwood, Florida, from France in 1953 to join her father's brother, Vasily Zvorykin. Having grown up in a multiple language family, her father was part of the Russian aristocracy. He and his siblings were fluent in five languages having been raised by a series of governesses who spoke Russian, Czech, English, French and German. Irina was fluent in English (and on occasion would correct Houston's English), French, Russian, some Czech and some Spanish. When a cousin of Irina's from France visited them in Florida a few years back Irina asked her cousin how was her (Irina's ) French. Her cousin replied it was still very good but that Irina spoke with her strange accent. It seems Irina learned English the first summer she was in Florida was now speaking French with a Southern U.S. accent. When Irina asked her cousin how was Houston's French, the cousin replied she could understand him but apparently if he did not Immediately recall the word he needed in French but knew it in Portuguese or Spanish he would use the word in that language.
Houston and Irina met at an ALLIANCE FRANCAISE club meeting in Winter Park, Florida, in November 1981 to which Houston, who also spoke French was invited by his date.
Houston likes to tell the story of their meeting thus: As Houston and his date, Mercia, entered the very crowded meeting hall looking out over the crowed Mercia remarked, "Oh, there is my friend, Irina, and her mother. A few minutes later an attractive young lady accompanied by her mother holding her wrist spoke to Houston's date, Mercia. "Can you please drive me to the hospital, I just slipped and fell and broke my wrist". Mercia, replied, "you'll have to ask Houston, he drove". Thus Houston and Irina met. Houston likes to say, "She literally fell for me the first time she saw me".
Almost four years later, 17 August of 1985, Houston and Irina were married in Orlando, Florida. Although theirs was a first marriage for each of them it was a little late biologically to start a family.
Irina has a multitude of friends in the United States and Europe.
Funeral service for Irina will be held at 12:00 Noon Monday, October 5, 2020 at Saint Petka Serbian Orthodox Church, 1990 Lake Emma Road, Longwood, Florida 32750-7127, with the Father Ljubisa Vrnjos, officiating. Interment to follow at Longwood Memorial Gardens in Longwood, Florida .
Visitation for family and friends will be one hour prior service time (11:00 A.M. - 12:00 Noon)
The Briggs family is being cared for by CONRAD AND THOMPSON FUNERAL HOME, 511 EMMETT STREET, KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA 34741 (407)847-3188
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