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Mitzi Stauffer Briggs of Las Vegas lost her family fortune in the 1970s, after buying into the Tropicana Hotel unaware of its Mob underpinnings. Heiress to the fabled Stauffer Chemical empire, Stauffer Briggs lost it all after federal and state authorities raided the hotel, and forced a quick sale of the property.
No longer a woman of means, Stauffer Briggs gracefully made a low-key living as a cocktail waitress, restaurant host, and ultimately, a trusted employee in the gift shop and administrative office of the Guardian Angel Cathedral, a Catholic church located near the Las Vegas Strip. She died Sept. 22 of cancer, at age 84.
John L. Smith, author and Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist