Charlie Briggs III '52 August 17, 2023 3:39 PM updated: August 17, 2023 3:50 PM
Charlie Pete Briggs, III
April 30, 1931 - August 5, 2023
Charlie Pete Briggs, III of Georgetown TX formerly from Bryan and Calvert went home to be with his Lord on August 5, 2023, with his sons by his side. Charlie was known to many friends and relatives as “Charlie Boy”. Charlie, a 5th generation Texan, born April 30, 1931, in Marlin, Texas was the son of Charlie Pete Briggs, Jr. and Josephine Burnitt of Calvert, Texas. Charlie and his wife, Mary Kathryn, moved to Sun City Texas two years ago to be close to their family.
He grew up in Calvert and graduated from Calvert High School. He then attended Texas A&M College where he received his B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering (ROTC) – Class of 1952. He received his commission in the U.S. Army.
He married Mary Kathryn Spiller, daughter of Mayor Harvey Sidney Spiller and Lena Ruby Dixon of Hearne, Texas on September 6, 1952. They are the parents of Charles Peter Briggs, IV and James Harvey Briggs, Sr, both of Bryan High School and Texas A&M University.
After graduating from Texas A&M he was hired by John Deere Tractor Works in Dubuque, Iowa. He then went back to Texas to serve as 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army where he was stationed at Ft. Bliss, TX from 1953-1955 where he taught enlisted men electronics. He left the Army as 1st Lieutenant in 1955 to go to work for Texas A&M University with the Agricultural Engineering Department. Later he returned to Calvert to manage the Briggs Family Farm and Ranch business. The family still owns the farmland today where the Harvey Massacre took place in 1836 leaving Ann Harvey the only survivor.
In later years, he opened Charlie Briggs and Associates Real Estate office in Bryan, TX. He went on to retire from Farm Bureau Insurance in Bryan as an Insurance Agent.
Charlie led a life of service his entire life. He served as a member and President of the Calvert School Board, President of Calvert Country Club, Past Worshipful Master Pierce Lodge #144, was a 32nd Mason, and Past Worthy Patron of the Order of Eastern Star, Chapter 563. He has supported a local Boy Scout Troop and Little League teams and was a member of the Robertson County Historical Society where he supported their research for Historical markers.
He continued to work to promote Texas History by telling school children the story of his Great Grandmother, Ann Harvey, the lone survivor of the Harvey Massacre in 1836. He was proud that the land where the massacre occurred is still owned by the Briggs Family. A Texas State Historical Marker marks the location of the event of November 1836, a modern-day example to future generations of Texans, describing the courage, strength, and fortitude of our Republic of Texas ancestors.
When he returned to Calvert in his early years, he was approached to become a member of the Lions Club. Charlie gladly joined in April 1956 and became a member of the Calvert Lion’s Club – District 2-S3. It did not take Charlie long to fall in love with Lionism as he became President of the Calvert Club in 1959-1960. He also served as Secretary for 8 years then quickly became involved in other District cabinet positions. Served as Zone Chairman (twice), Deputy District Governor (twice), District Tail Twister, Lt. Governor 1968-1969 and was the winner of the Outstanding Member Calvert Lion’s Club 1968. He soon rose to an even higher position as he was elected District Governor. He was installed in Tokyo, Japan at the first Lions Club International Convention in 1969-1970. He was also named State Treasurer by the Council of Governor’s.
During his year as District Governor, he organized two Lions Clubs including the first non-hearing, Ephitha, in Austin. He led the Texas Lions in collecting over $32,000, which was sent to the Lions of Mississippi for their rebuilding projects after Hurricane Camille. He holds 5 Extension Awards for organizing new clubs including Bryan Breakfast in which he was a Charter Member in 1971. He was the Recipient of the Lion’s International Presidential Award 1982, the Coveted Harry Reasonover Award for Outstanding Lion in District 2-S3 in 1986 and the Membership Advancement Key – Sponsoring 6 new members. He also served on the Long-Range Committee at the Lions Camp in Kerrville, and as Chairman, helped define a future vision and expansion of the camp.
Although being a Lion took a lot of time, he still found time for other organizations. He was a charter member and past Commander of L.S. Ross Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and Charter member of the Independence Chapter, Sons of American Revolution and 1812 as a member. He helped organize the William Joel Bryan Chapter #14, Sons of the Republic of Texas, in which he was elected President 1979-1980, and holds dual membership in the Sam Houston Chapter #38, Katy. He served on the Executive Committee and has held offices of Executive Committeeman, Secretary General, 2nd Vice President General (two terms) and was First Vice President General and Chairman.
On April 1, 2000, he was Knighted with General Sam Houston’s sword into the Order of Knights of San Jacinto in the Rotunda of the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station. The Ross Volunteer Honor Guard of Texas A&M University provided a saber arch for the processional. The same night, he was installed as President General of the Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT) and served in that high office from 2000-2002. He served as President General of SRT, following his wife as she served as President General of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT). They were the only couple to serve in the highest position of DRT and SRT. The last and rarest SRT honor was the March 18, 2023, announcement of Sir Knight Briggs’ receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 101st Annual meeting of SRT in San Antonio, TX.
Even though he was very busy with his life of service, he never forgot his alma mater, Texas A&M University. He continued to support Texas A&M football where he attended all Aggie football games holding season tickets since graduating. He was a member of the Former Students Association and an avid supporter of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, which both of his sons were members of the band.
Charlie was also a man of faith. He was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church of Calvert. He was a ruling Elder of the church and served as Clerk of Sessions up until his death.
He is preceded in death by his Grandparents, Charlie Pete Briggs and Sallie Steel Briggs, his parents, Charlie Pete Briggs, Jr. and Josephine Burnitt Briggs and his sister, Josephine Briggs.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Mary Kathryn Spiller Briggs, son, Charles Peter Briggs, IV and wife Carlene Kay Briggs of Georgetown, TX, son, James (Jim) Harvey Briggs, Sr. and wife, Janna Green Briggs of Georgetown, TX. Grandchildren, Charles Matthew Briggs and wife Samantha Briggs of Houston, TX, Jonathan Peter Briggs of Georgetown, TX, Jared Andrew Briggs of Georgetown, TX, James (Jamie) Harvey Briggs, Jr and wife Toni Briggs of Georgetown, TX and Kathryn Elizabeth Briggs and wife Erin Jennings of Dallas, TX formerly of Georgetown, TX. Great Grandchildren, Ethan Matthew Briggs of Houston, TX, Benjamin James Briggs and Abigail Mae Briggs of Georgetown, TX and Carson Harvey Jennings (16 days old) of Dallas TX and numerous cousins from Calvert and many close friends throughout the state.
Pallbearers: Matthew Briggs, Jonathan Briggs, Jared Briggs, Jamie Briggs, David Hanover, David Joyce Honorary Pallbearer: Kathryn Briggs
Services will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Calvert, Texas on Friday, August 11, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Burial will be at the Calvert City Cemetery following the service.
Memorials can be made to Calvert First Presbyterian Church – Building Fund. P. O. Box 66, Calvert, TX 77837.