Jerry was born on Feb. 5th, 1944, in Ada, Oklahoma. He was the son of Olen and Aline Brigham. He grew up in Madill and graduated from high school in 1962. After attending the University of Oklahoma as a student, he returned there as a member of the Mass Communications faculty and received his Master of Fine Arts degree. Jerry lived in Louisiana, Alaska, and Colorado before retiring and returning to the Madill area.
Professionally, he taught college courses in Mass Communications and Film at Oklahoma University, University of Alaska, University of Louisiana and East Central University in Ada.
The majority of his non-teaching career was spent working as a CEO and a public television personality at a number of radio and tv stations. These include stations such as KUAC TV/ FM in Fairbanks, Alaska, KYUK AM/TV in Bethel, Alaska, KRVS FM in Lafayette, Louisiana and radio station KUTE in Ignacio, Colorado.
As a researcher and writer, Jerry published articles in The Northern Review, Journal of Popular Culture, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and Thought. He also wrote a number of newspaper articles, short stories and television scripts.
Living in Alaska for nearly twenty years, he is best remembered for his work on several documentaries which often showed statewide and on PBS. These included a sport-fishing show called Angling Alaska, which he hosted, as well as an award-winning documentary Tales of the Tundra, which Jerry researched, wrote and co-produced.
He is also remembered for hosting a long running series Reel Magic for eight seasons, and Tundra Terror Theater that he wrote and hosted (which gave him the dubious nick-name “Horrible Clyde”).
Jerry Brigham always tried to serve the community in which he and his family lived. This included everything from judging the Durango Film Festival, presenting over twenty lectures on Alaskan film history to small isolated communities for the Alaska Humanities Speakers Forum and traveling on the Alaska Ferry System to meet, greet and lecture tourists. Since returning to Oklahoma, he served on the Johnson County Library Board, Marshall County Museum Board and wrote articles for the Madill Record.
He is survived by his wife of fifty three years, Beverly Ann Brigham, a daughter Jennifer Lind Brigham of Madill, a son Dylan Thomas Brigham and wife Donna of Fairbanks, Alaska, six grand children (Zack, Kyle, Ashley, Danielle, Daryn and Haley), and four great grand children (Chloe Lee, Mathias, Owen Elliot, and Adaline Grace).
The memorial service will show a few brief clips from some of Jerry’s television documentaries. Those who grew up with him are urged to share their memories. After cremation, his ashes will be moved to the Kushokwim River in western Alaska which was his favorite fly fishing area.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to KYUK Public Radio and Television Station 640 Radio St. Bethel, Alaska 99559
Services will be Saturday, September 1, 2018 at 10:00 am at the Watts Memorial Chapel, Madill, Oklahoma. Steve Robinson will officiate the service. Services will be under the direction of Watts Funeral Home, Madill, Oklahoma. Condolences may be sent to wattsfuneralhome.com.