Walter Owen Briggs III
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Walter Owen Briggs III, Investment Counselor and politician, dies at 77.
Walter Briggs, loving husband and father passed away peacefully Saturday, November 24 in the company of his wife and children.
Born on January 27, 1935 in Detroit, Michigan to Laura and Walter Spike Briggs, President and General Manager of the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club, Mr. Briggs was an avid baseball and sports fan throughout his entire life. While he continued to follow the Tigers, Mr. Briggs focused his athletic abilities elsewhere becoming a competitive swimmer as a teenager, and later enjoying sailing, tennis and especially golf as well as coaching several of his sons' little league teams. When he lived in the Harbor Springs/Petoskey, Michigan area, Mr. Briggs was a founding partner of the Little Traverse Racquet Club, and a radio play-by-play announcer for the local high school varsity football and basketball teams.
Mr. Briggs attended Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut and later earned his B.S. in marketing and economics from Lehigh University while serving in the Marine Corp Reserves. Upon graduation, he went to work in the marketing department at the Ford Motor Company's Edsel Division, later working on the Lincoln and Mercury brands. Next, he joined MacManus, John and Adams as an account executive. Though he enjoyed the advertising business, Mr. Briggs found his life's work as a stockbroker for over 40 years a career he enjoyed so passionately, he never saw reason to retire. Starting at Bache and Company in Detroit, later moving to Janney Montgomery and Scott as VP Investments, and most recently at Ameriprise Financial Services.
In addition to a successful career as an investment counselor, Mr. Briggs was active in politics serving as Chairman of the Michigan Young Republicans, Zoning Commissioner and Mayor of the City of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He was also the original Chairman for the Cornerstone Foundation, a philanthropic trust founded by Governor William Milliken, Senator Philip Hart and several other political leaders to address urban problems. Later in life he became active in the Democratic Party and was appointed Chairman of the City Planning Commission in Norwalk, Connecticut leading the development of the master plan for the city. In 2007 he ran for mayor of Norwalk.
Always an active member of the communities in which he lived, Mr. Briggs most recently served on the advisory council of The Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County and was a member of St. Paul's on the Green Episcopal Church in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Mr. Briggs is survived by his wife of 57 years, Gwen Briggs; his eight children and their spouses, Walter IV (Andrea), Lois (Terry Swartzell), Laura (Jon Knowles), Harvey (Lisa), Grace, Charles (Lynn), Christopher (Carlin) and Philip (Heide) and 22 grandchildren and his brothers Basil M. Mickey Briggs and James R. Briggs. Friends may call at Hoyt Cognetta Funeral Home, 5 East Wall Street, Norwalk, CT, Friday December 7th from 5 7 pm. Services will be held at St Paul's on the Green Episcopal Church in Norwalk at 1 pm on Saturday December 8th.
Donations may be made to The Seabury Academy of Music & the Arts, 60 East Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851 or The Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County at www.childguidancemfct.org.
Published in The Hour on Dec. 2, 2012