Glenn Briney

Obituary
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Glenn "Wally" Briney
It's time to celebrate the life of a most wonderful and remarkable man, Wally Briney. Those who knew him noted his zest for life and are quick to speak of his kind and gentle ways as well as his quick wit and quicker smile. Those who wish to honor his life may join his family in celebration this coming Saturday, November 17, at Green Hills Memorial Park. The celebration will start at 1:00pm in the chapel with interment service following. Viewing will be provided by the mortuary in the Villetta room from 9:00am to 12:00pm. A video will also be shown during the viewing and during the noon hour, of highlights of Wally's recent 90th birthday celebration. Wally was born Glenn Wallace Briney, the first born son of the first City Attorney of Torrance Perry G. Briney and his wife, Emma M. Briney. His mother called him Wallace, but to everyone who was family or extended family, he was Wally. He was an avid camera buff, and even had a full photo lab in the attic of his childhood home, which still stands on the corner of 17th and Walker. He graduated from San Pedro High School, in 1940, where he met the love of his life, Gertrude (Trudy). They were married 65 years before she passed in 2009. Wally studied at the Carniegie Instiute in Pittsburg as part of an army training program. From there he was sent to the south pacific and spent time in Hilandia, New Guinea, Latvia and the Philippines. During his first deployment of WWII, and within the first few days of that deployment, he volunteered as a forward observer on the island of Okinawa, where he was hit by mortar fire and for which he earned a purple heart. After returning from the war, Wally earned a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering, with a special emphasis in metallurgy, from the University of Southern California. He worked at Hughes Aircraft for the next 37 years and rose to the level of Senior Scientist, specializing in process engineering and quality control (troubleshooting). In his early years with Hughes, he was called on to test the fire suppression system on Hughes' flying boat, the Spruce Goose. And later, he worked on the Surveyor, an early moon exploration project. In the last few years before retiring, he was sent by Hughes to troubleshoot problems with sub contractors in other countries. That allowed him to travel thru England, Germany, and France, as well as parts of Southeast Asia, China and Japan, accompanied by Trudy. Wally always found challenging hobbies, once turning the back patio of our home into an aviary. Later, he built and filled three green houses with his own hybrid orchids. After retiring, Trudy and Wally shared an interest in bird watching which took them from the tropical forests of Mexico to the Arctic Circle. Thanks to Wally's interest in lapidary, Trudy often sported lovely opal jewelry made for her by her loving husband. Of course, he loved hiking, fishing, and hunting. Family vacations were usually spent backpacking in the High Sierras, on the John Muir trail, the Pacific Crest trail, or any number of destinations. He would often carry food for a week, for a family of five, on his back, pole and tackle in hand, searching Mammoth Lakes for the perfect fishing hole. He has remained active through the years. Even now, up till very recently, he would drive to Palos Verdes to play bridge every Thursday and often won honors for his scores. While nurturing his family in God's Word, he also held the position of Sunday School Superintendant and, for a time, taught the high school group while Trudy taught four and five-year olds for ten years. He also sang Bass in the church choir. Wally's children, Marsha Mercer (Tim Mercer), Douglas Briney (Sandra Briney), and Glenna Briney feel tremendously honored, privileged, and blessed to have been a part of his life, as many do. Family who loved him and miss him include sister Elaine Butterworth and brother Bob (and Leslie) Briney, It is difficult to express how much he loved and was so proud of each of her grand children Tressa (and Chad) Reddy, Tyson (and Jamie) Mercer, Amy (and Chris)Huante, and Tessera (and Kenneth) Kaufman, Kat (and David ) Landa, and Garrett Briney. He felt very fortunate to know and love his great grand children Skyler and Alana Reddy, Juniper and Eve Mercer, and Sonora Landa. Trudy's family members as well as extended family/friends and brothers and sisters in the Lord, also share countless fond memories and good times filled with love and laughter. Dad's accomplishments were not what made him truly remarkable. It was his ability to live with a sense of appreciation, gratitude, and humility; his "I'm just a regular guy" attitude. He could not grasp the impact he had on others. He was a father, a dad, a papa, a grandpa, a great-grandfather, a brother, a brother-in-law, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, a co-worker, and a co-worshiper. He was a moral compass, a haven in a storm, and a well stream of strength, compassion, grace, and faith. "Well, God's been in control for the last 90 years, I guess he is still in control." Still, what made him truly remarkable was his ability to allow God to integrate and demonstrate the love of Christ through him. And to meet him was to know this love. How do you say good-bye to someone you have known and loved every day and every second of your life? You can't express what you truly feel. Dad, it has been a privilege, an honor, and a blessing to have had you for our father and the love of Moms life. It was an act of unmerited favor that God chose you to be our father. Thank you for teaching and living God's love to us. We love you and miss you, oh, so much, Marsha, Douglas, and Glenna. Please sign the guestbook at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.

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Published in Daily Breeze on Nov. 16, 2012
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