Joseph Curtis Briggs
1930 - 2021
{ "" }
Share Joseph's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Joseph Curtis Briggs

Rochester - January 22, 2021 after a life well lived. Born August 22, 1930 in Rochester, NY, to Theodore Clement and Ruth Curtis Briggs. Predeceased by his son, Jim Briggs; grandson, Mark von Bucher; brother, Bill Briggs, who died serving his country in WWII; sisters, Katie Pratt and Bobbie Trimble.

He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years,

Nancy Pierce Briggs; two daughters, Judy von Bucher (Erik) and Susan Kitchen (Donald); daughter-in-law, Paula Briggs; seven grandchildren, Peter Briggs (Lauren), Andrew Briggs (Jana), Julia Briggs, Peter von Bucher (Heidi), Lilly Kesner (Matt), Teddy Kitchen (Gaby), Sally Kitchen; four great-grandchildren, Jamie and William Briggs, Raya and Lucas Kesner.

Joe grew up in Pittsford, attended early grades at Pittsford, Harley and graduated from the Kent School in 1949. In spite of many diversions, (Nancy Pierce being the primary one), he managed to eke out an Economics degree with Honors from Princeton University in 1953. He retired as the Vice President of Marketing for Lawyer's Cooperative Publishing Co. Joe served many community organizations over the years, including: Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester Area Community Foundation, Harley School, Planned Parenthood, and numerous others. His true passion was to lift up those less fortunate primarily through education. This is evidenced by Joe and Nancy's support of the Jasco college sponsorship program for East High students, their help in establishing the Horizons Summer Learning program for inner city youth, the Goodwill Excel Centers for adults with education gaps, and the Briggs Family Scholarship Fund at RIT to help mostly first generation college students. His other source of pride at RIT, where he served as a Trustee since 1990, was his major role in establishing a varsity crew program with the purchase of numerous shells and participation in the building of the RIT boathouse. Not one to rest in his "golden years", Joe worked with Habitat for Humanity near their home in Vero Beach, FL, until it was a little dicey to be up on the rooftops!

In the summer of 1975, Joe and his "first mate", Nancy, began an ocean sailing adventure which was to last for 17 years and cover some 50,000 miles in their sloop, Sundowner. After several years cruising this country, the Bahamas, Caribbean and Venezuela, they made their first transatlantic passage to the Azores, Gibraltar in 1982. They spent 4 years exploring the Mediterranean, then took the masts down, and went up the Rhone River and the French and Dutch canals. From there, they headed to the Baltic and cruised Norway, Sweden and Finland, with a side trip to Russia, ending up in Denmark. The following spring they crossed the North Sea to England and prepared for the return Atlantic passage to Antigua, via Portugal, and the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. With incredible foresight, and with sailing in his blood, he captured hours of video "just sailing the open seas", for possibly watching one day from a hospital bed, long in the future. Thankfully, Hospice enabled him to experience his sailing videos from the comfort of his home with his first mate, Nancy, by his side. Joe and Nancy "sailed through life", both literally and figuratively, with both sunny days and rough weather. His was truly a life well lived.

A celebration of Joe's life will be held at some time in the future. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Rochester Institute of Technology, University Advancement, P.O. Box 92765, Rochester, 14692-8865 or to a charity of your choice. To share a memory of Joe or send a condolence to the family visit

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle from Jan. 23 to Jan. 24, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Anthony Funeral & Cremation Chapels Brighton
Not sure what to say?
3 entries
January 29, 2021
Dear Nancy, Judy and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. I will always remember that Joe was one of the first (if not THE first) RIT Trustee to welcome me to the Board in 2001. As a consummate professional, I always admired his intelligence, frankness and compassion. And he brought a warmth and charm to each discussion. I will greatly miss seeing him at the Trustee meetings. I hope the many wonderful memories you have, which fortunately are captured on video, will help to ease the pain of your loss.
Susan Puglia
January 26, 2021
We were saddened to hear about Joe's passing. We enjoyed spending time with him and his lovely wife Nancy at their lodge, lake home and at various family events. Joe was a wonderful person and will be missed by everyone.
Barry & Julia Barker
January 24, 2021
What an example Joe set for generosity and civility. He was a genuinely nice guy even on the tennis court. Joe & Nancy were a wonderful couple who added so much in so many ways to the quality of life in the Rochester area.

.....Susan & Nick Robfogel
Nathan J Robfogel
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences