1937-2014 Robert Sylvesta Briggs Jr. (Bob) passed away on July 29, at his home in Lakewood Village after a long struggle with Parkinson's Dementia. Bob was born December 13, 1937 to Robert S. and Luella Grace Briggs of Nome, Texas. Known to his family and many of his friends as Butch, he went to schools in Nome and China, Texas. From an early age, he was fascinated by mechanics and electronics. At age 12, he set up a lawn mower and scooter repair shop in his father's motor company. During the early days of television, Butch helped repair television sets in his home town. Whenever anyone had a mechanical or electrical problem, he could be counted on to repair it. After high school he attended the University of Texas and received advanced degrees with honors in mechanical and electrical engineering. After graduation, Butch married Dorothy Ann Whigham and moved to Richardson, Texas, where he worked for Collins Radio. While at Collins, he accomplished many designs for equipment used by NASA, other space agencies, and the military. His colleagues called him the wizard of servo mechanisms. He left Collins to help start up a new company, Spectradyne, which successfully invented the first video on demand used in hotels throughout the world. After retiring from Spectradyne, he worked for a new company, Turbochef, in which he assisted in designing a microwave convection oven used in many restaurants today. Butch is survived by Dorothy and his children Catherine Ann Knox-Seith and husband Finn, and Robert Sylvesta Briggs III and wife Sandra, and grandchildren Samantha, Christopher, Rebecca, Lily, Michael, and Emily. He is also survived by sisters Beverly Stimson, Mildred Hayek and Betty Veselka. He was a favorite uncle to many nieces and nephews whom he taught a love of water sports. Preceding him in death are his parents, brothers James Briggs, Kenneth Briggs, Hugh Ferguson, and sister Mary Moore. The family would like to extend thanks to Bob's many caregivers. Special thanks to Katherine, Carlita, Vila, Sean and Brooke who have been a true blessing in his care. Butch enjoyed many happy summers with his family at their beach house, Happy Days in Gilchrist, Texas. A memorial service will be heldon Sunday, August 17at 10am on the Bolivar Peninsula.
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Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Aug. 3, 2014