Sunday, March 30, 2014

Obituary: Brian Dennis Briggs - Class of 1960

HOLCOMBE, Wis. - Brian Dennis Briggs, age 71, formerly of Madison, passed away Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, surrounded by his loving family and friends. Brian was born in Oshkosh on Oct. 1, 1942, to the late Leroy E. and Norabel A.(Hutchins) Briggs. After attending schools in Madison and graduating from Central High School in 1960, he attended UW-Stevens Point and UW-Madison. In 1962, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, eventually being stationed in Hawaii where he served two years as a cartographer, mapping battle areas in Viet Nam for the ground troops. After his honorable discharge, Brian was employed for 13 years as a cartographer for Alster and Associates (later Owen Ayres & Associates) in Madison. Next he owned the Madison Gym Muscles and Fitness, first on Sherman Avenue and later on East Washington until retiring in 1996 and moving to the north woods near Holcombe, where he built a log home on the Fisher River. On Aug. 14, 1965, Brian married Stephanie Fike in Hawaii and they later divorced. On June 9, 1984, he married Franny Meyer in Columbus, Wis. From then on, he was her rock! Believing in the benefits of physical fitness and improving himself every day, resulted in Brian's lifelong love of sports, including playing and coaching hockey in high school, college and adulthood. Weightlifting and powerlifting were Brian's passions and he coached and mentored countless athletes while competing in numerous state and national drug-free powerlifting meets, setting many records along the way. Many remain unbroken today. Brian was also a skilled promoter and businessman. This expertise led to his being Badger State Games Commissioner of Lifting events for several years. Nothing, however, gave Brian more pleasure than cheering on the Badgers and the Packers. Volunteerism played a big role in Brian's life. He helped first graders learn to read at Lake Holcombe Elementary, delivered meals at Christmas for the Cornell Food Pantry and helped serve meals at Eau Claire's Community Table. Brian was the sort of person who would drop whatever he was doing if a friend or neighbor needed help. Brian is survived by his wife of almost 30 years, Franny Meyer-Briggs of Holcombe; his daughter, Kimberly Briggs of Tucson, Ariz.; a sister, Kathie (Bill) Nardi of Middleton; grandson, Julio "Max" Briggs Gonzalez; granddaughter, Olivia Briggs Gonzalez; in-laws, Ted and Rosalie Meyer of Thorp, Wis.; Franny's brothers and sisters, Nancy and Ray Kodl and Denny and Arlene Meyer, all of Thorp; Donna Meyer-Klick and Denny Klick of Boyd, Wis.; Mary Lou and Jim Felix of Greenwood, Wis.; and Jerry and Sally Meyer of Menomonee Falls; 15 nieces and nephews and their spouses; three great-nephews; five great-nieces; one great-great-nephew; and many friends and surrogate children who were very special to him. Brian's family would like to thank the staff at Sacred Heart Hospital, especially those on Seventh Floor, who cared for him and his family and friends the day of his passing with so much compassion. A celebration of Brian's life will be from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the AMERICAN LEGION HALL, 309 South 2nd Street, Cornell, Wis. Concluding the Celebration of Life at 2 p.m., Military Honors will be conducted by the Cornell American Legion. Please feel free to bring stories about Brian to share. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Highground Veterans Memorial Park, Neillsville, Wis. or honor Brian's spirit by volunteering in your community to help those less fortunate than you. Borton-Leiser Funeral Home is serving the Family.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on March 30, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968).

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