Billy Leo Briggs
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Billy Leo Briggs
  • December 7, 1938 - July 27, 2017
  • Carmel Valley, California

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Billy Leo Briggs who passed away on July 27, 2017, did not lead a quiet, well-tempered life. If he had, he would have gone without a trace. Instead, the rich complexity of his life - a courageous spirit, captivating contradictions, and a hardy family credo - contributed to carving the legacy he leaves behind.
His courageous spirit spilled out into all the corners of his life. He did not hesitate all along the way to "step into the ring" when and if necessary. A multitude of nieces and nephews- and especially his daughters - testified to his keen fearlessness in working through hurdles; and his persistent encouragement that they, too, harvest and mine their own courage in facing down life's challenges. Leo's unremitting devotion to caring for his wife, Sally, in spite of his own compromised health in the last few years of his life, displayed a mettle that only a select few can claim. Even surviving the death of his daughter, Stephanie, whom he missed every day of his life, was done with a fierce grace.
Leo lived outside and inside the lines of his life. He was both reverent and irreverent; tamed and untamed. Aside from his charisma, (which was ever present), and his southern charm, (which he displayed naturally) he exhibited many talents - he was an impressive artist; he played and taught guitar; he was an avid golfer (he had two holes in one!), and he bred koi fish. Unbeknownst to some, Leo was quite well read, which made him conversant on most subjects - something he thought everyone should be. He loved to quiz his eldest daughter weekly on the contents of TIME magazine despite the fact that she was in college AND holding down a job. His education and expertise lead him to be an efficiency expert and consultant for a number of companies.
Most significant in describing Leo, in defining Leo, let it be known that he was a Briggs. One of eight children, he was born in Big Spring, Texas on Dec. 7, 1938, to James Dalton and Mary Briggs. The entire colorful Briggs clan, with their good looks (Leo had jet black hair and steel blue eyes) and myriad talents, were uncompromising in their devotion to one another and family. Buckled close one to the other, if you took on one of them, you took on the entire Briggs family; in their own unique way, they lived and breathed as a single extraordinary unit.
That same familial devotion extended naturally to his daughters, Stephanie (who preceded him in death) and his daughter, the Honorable Judge Kimberly Briggs, (her accomplishment was one he was quite proud of) and his beloved son-in-law Russ Giuntini and his grandson Jason David Dill. The best family memories centered on the treasured family reunions he and Sally would throw at the ranch. Everyone came; everyone had a blast. In this milieu with his beloved family, he felt the most at home, the most loved. People gravitated to him easily and naturally.
Sadly, he was preceded in death by five of his siblings: Mary (Briggs) Mitchell, Betty Jo (Briggs) Garcia, Sonny Briggs, Garie (Briggs) LeBow, Janie (Briggs) Rose.
He is survived by his loving sisters Judy (Briggs) Donaldson and Barbara (Briggs) Nobusada, and many, many nieces and nephews whom he adored, and who adored him.
He is most notably survived by his beautiful Sally.theirs was an enviable, incomparable love story rooted in a deep devotion to each other that lasted for 45 years.
Billy Leo Briggs was one of a kind. He made his mark on this world. His family will miss him desperately.