Merle Edward Briggs

Ten years after beating lung cancer Ed succumbed to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) on September 30, 2019. He was preceded in death by his parents Merle D. & Merle T. Briggs. He was born in Fort Worth on June 1, 1939. He is survived by his cherished wife Elizabeth and treasured family; son Randall Jay (Mireyda), grandsons Kyle Edward & Max Antonio; son Kenneth Lee & partner Brant; adoptive son Dwight Wright (Laura), granddaughter Holly Wright; brother Ralph “Butch“, sister Sharon Ann Hart, brother Michael; a plethora of nieces and nephews; and friends and colleagues around the globe. Ed joined the navy at young age and spent the next four years either in training or onboard a destroyer. After the navy he returned to Fort Worth and went to work for General Dynamics on the B58 bomber program. It was here that his sister introduced him to his life mate Elizabeth Hallmark and that started their long journey together.
They moved to Abilene where he helped integrate General Dynamics F-series Atlas Missile complexes. Ed then became a migratory missile worker on the Minuteman, Saturn and Atlas update program. When NASA opened the new Manned Spaceflight Center Ed joined Philco as a Tech Rep and they moved to Houston. He was there for the installation of the ground systems and support of the Gemini program. In 1965 the Bendix Field Engineering Corp. (BFEC) came to Houston recruiting for NASA’s ground tracking network. After a brief interview the Briggs’ were on their way to Guaymas, Mexico and they never looked back.
Additional assignments were at Corpus Christi, Texas; Guam; Rosman, North Carolina; Madrid, Spain; Kauai, Hawaii; Columbia, Maryland; Dakar, Senegal; and Back to Columbia where he was the Associate Program Manager for Goddard’s Ground Tracking & Data Network. In 1984 BFEC joined a team to compete for the Johnson Space Center’s Shuttle contract. In 1986 they relocated back to Houston after the successful award of the contract for the M&O and Hardware Engineering of the ground systems. Additional contracts for the space station, the DSC and the White Sands Test Facility were added to the company’s business model. Ed learned from his mentors and took pride in developing the staff and arranged progressive training to enhance their future. He tried to be available with a helping hand. Ed retired as the Director of Houston Operations and devoted his time to travel and hunting. Ed and Elizabeth made frequent world-wide trips and cruises. He purchased a small 275 acre ranch for “Wild Life Management” and built an off-grid cabin complete with wind and solar power. He made improvements to enhance the deer, turkey and aoudad population yet failed to eradicate wild hogs. The ranch became too much for him to run and the 420 mile one way trip didn’t help. Ed harvested his last deer, an aging 8 point buck with a shattered tine early on opening day in 2016. He had sold the ranch and relinquished ownership that new year’s eve. In the early days of the space program with the final “Loss Of Signal” as the spacecraft went over the horizon you terminated the computer’s process with a simple command.
LOS,T^
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 11:00 am at Seabrook United Methodist Church, 3300 Lakeside Drive, Seabrook, TX 77586

15 comments

  1. Rest in Peace my friend. Sincere condolences to the entire family.

    Bill
  2. May he Rest In Peace – Condolences to the entire family.

    Bill McFerren
  3. My condolences to the Edward Briggs family.
    May you rest in Peace Mr. Briggs, in Jesus’s name.
    You were a fine person to work under.

    Pete Braccio
  4. So sorry to hear. My condolences to Liz and family.

    Percy Stafford
  5. Very sorry for your loss, the Briggs family was always kind and welcoming, Mr. Briggs will be missed. My family will be keeping you all in our thoughts during this difficult time. We pray that you have comfort moving forward.

    LOS,T

    Mark Smith
    • It was sad to hear of Ed’s passing. I talked to him 3-4 months ago after he went on Hospice Care and he was in great spirits. It was a true privalage to work with him on the STSOC Program as he was a very exemplary and professional Leader and no nonsense manager as well as a very good friend. That connection continued as Ed became my Boss at the NASA WSTF for maintenance and operations of the NASA Site. He “had my back” through a pretty touch transition with a tough customer. He was indeed, a true Leader and friend. I, …. We, will miss him.

      Ben Boykin
  6. I offer condolences to the Briggs’ family and friends as you mourn the loss of a lived one. Please find peace in the good memories. I life you up in prayer.

    An ex-Bendix/Allied Signal employee.

    Patricia A McClure
  7. Upsetting news when I heard Ed left us. Prayers and thoughts are with Liz and his family. It makes you think of how precious life is and the people we really care about. A true honor and privilege to have worked with Ed. Got to know his wife and his sons. We continued our friendship after he retired, I will miss his and Liz’s emails of intelligence and laughter they would send. He was a strong successful leader that delivered but most of all he was a caring manager and friend. Ed and Liz were a team. ‘CARPE DIEM’

    Lynda Amason
  8. So sorry to hear of Mr. Briggs’ passing. My husband Paul and I send our deepest condolences to Mrs. Briggs and family. Mr. Briggs was truly an unforgettable manager; tough but fair, always supportive, and interested in helping people be the best version of themselves. He expected a lot but when you did good he let you know it, and that was one of the best feelings in the world! I feel blessed to have known and worked with him. He will be missed.

    Cindy Dean-Yamaguchi
  9. Uncle Ed (Eddie) will be missed terribly. He was the absolute best story teller, and he had many from all of his adventures. I have wonderful memories of him telling stories on the front porch of my grandparents’ home with a delicious smelling pipe. As a little girl, I remember thinking he was always larger than life. So grateful to have those memories. I will miss you.

    Robbin Quillin
  10. I was so sorry to hear that Ed had passed over the great divide.
    God bless and be with you and all the family in this time of sorrow.

    Prue McMillan
  11. Sorry to hear of Ed’s passing. Our best wishes to you and your family. The times we had on Guam were always fun. Don and Darlene Correll

    Harvey Correll
  12. Thoughts and prayers to the Briggs family. Ed was a great guy personally and also to work for. He led our team well. R.I.P. Ed. you will be missed. Prayers for the family at this trying time, may God bless each of you and comfort you.

    Dianna Cauthen
  13. Liz and family, My heart goes out to you and my prayers also. Ed was a wonderful
    person. I was blessed that he loved my son and family like his own.
    May God comfort you at this time.

    Loretta J. Wright
  14. A pleasure to have shared time together with you during our journey through life. Condolences to Liz and family.

    Olden and Tiemsri Jackson

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