Gale L. Briggs, 92, of Harrison (Carlin Bay), Idaho, passed away peacefully on June 16, 2016. He was born on February 21, 1924, in Lewiston Idaho, to Garry Briggs and Nell Chase Briggs.
Gale grew up in Orofino, Idaho, and later in Seaside and Corvallis, Oregon. He attended Oregon State University until he was inducted into the Army in 1943. A veteran of World War II, he served with honor as a paratrooper in the 13th Airborne Division in Europe. After the war, Briggs returned to Corvallis, where he worked in his family’s restaurant. He quickly noticed whom he termed “the prettiest waitress there”, and later married that young woman, Phyllis Renner of Carlin Bay, Idaho.
He began his career as an airplane mechanic with Trans Ocean Airlines. In 1954 he moved to Seattle to work for West Coast Airlines, retiring after a 30 year career. He and Phyllis relocated to the Carlin Bay area. Briggs became known for his ability to build or fix anything. All he needed to hear was “it can’t be fixed”, and he would find a way to get it done (sometimes just to prove that he could).
Briggs loved North Idaho, and he became very close to Phyllis’ family. He cherished the hunting and fishing trips taken with her brothers Gerald, Cliff (Duane), and Kenny Renner. He introduced the first chain saw to the area. He established telephone service between family members, using surplus military handsets. He built a log house, and built a home for his retirement with Phyllis. He reconstructed an old Ferrari that was nothing but parts in boxes. He rebuilt numerous airplanes that had been involved in crashes.
He was preceded in death by Phyllis, his wife of many years, and is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Patty Briggs, his daughter Janet Briggs, his daughter and son-in-law, Ruth and Joe Rush, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
His family wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the caring part that Hospice of North Idaho played in Gale’s last days and peaceful departure.