Ralph H. Briggs

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Ralph H. Briggs passed away at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville Sept. 11, 2017 following a sudden illness.
Mr. Briggs was a resident of Chiefland and was married to Mary Harper of Chiefland at the time of his death.
He was a veteran of the United States Army Ordinance Corps and served in the Korean Conflict.
Mr. Briggs was a distinguished member of the Free Masons earning the coveted standing of Master Mason. He was a member of the Caribbean Lodge #71, and later a member and the elected Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge #133 in West Palm Beach.
Following his move to Chiefland, he became a member and Worshipful Master of Brown Lodge #51 in Chiefland. Moving his membership in 2005 to Archer Lodge #197 a small Lodge struggling with membership, he helped initiate many new members strengthening the Lodge that currently is a leading Lodge in the Masonic District. He was also a member of the York Rite Masonic Lodge in Gainesville and earned the title of High Priest of the Rite and was also a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason with membership in the Lodge in Ocala.
During his lifetime, Mr. Briggs worked at many jobs before and after his military service including lifeguard at Jones Beach, N.Y., ticket agent for United Airlines in New Jersey, undercover agent for Wackenhut Security, Coca Cola route salesman and as the representative of Genovese Beer Distributers in Florida.
He was also a trained motorcycle repairman, master electrician and air conditioning and refrigeration installer/ repairman and worked as the construction manager on various jobs, including the Holiday Inn in Palm Beach and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Ralph was an avid outdoorsman and loved hunting, fishing and camping. He spent many hours walking along the Suwannee River enjoying the views, fresh air and quiet.
He was a valued member of Saint Alban's Episcopal Church, in Chiefland and served for over 10 years on the governing Mission Board of the church where he was recognized in 2015 for his selfless devotion to the church and the community by being awarded permanent status as a "Pillar of the Church".
He is survived by his wife, Mary Harper Briggs of Chiefland; his son, Kevin Briggs, of Bend, Ore.; his daughter, Michelle Newsome of Panama City; three stepdaughters Ruth Watl, Mary Mayhugh, Jean Ruble; eight-grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Funeral services will be held at Saint Alban's Episcopal Church in Chiefland at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 with Father Harold Ritchie presiding.
Following the services, a light luncheon will be available in the church parish hall for friends and guests at the funeral.
Information on the services may be obtained by calling 352-493-2770 and leaving a voice message for a return call.
Published in Cedar Key Beacon on Sept. 21, 2017
bullet Korean War bullet U.S. Army