Cover photo for Carl Thomas Briggs's Obituary
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1937 Carl 2021

Carl Thomas Briggs

July 10, 1937 — October 22, 2021

Carl Thomas Briggs passed away on October 22, 2021, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was born July 10, 1937, to Walter and Geneva (Buchtel) Briggs. The family lived in Quenemo, Kansas until 1950 when they moved to a farm near Reading. Carl attended Reading schools and majored in business at Emporia State. He began farming when he was very young and took on major farm responsibilities during his college years. Farming and raising cattle gave him a life’s work that he loved. His crops had clean, straight rows and his cattle were well fed with a dry place to lie down. Carl’s respect for the environment was reflected in his work on the Upper Marais des Cygnes Watershed District, where he was a founding board member, and the Lyon County Soil Conservation District, where he served as chairman for several years.

In 1980 he met and fell in love with Janice Anderson and they were married six months later. He restored an old farmhouse with a great deal of skill, love, and patience to make the warm and happy home where they lived and raised their family. Sam was born in 1981 and Sarah in 1984.

Doing things with his family was Carl’s greatest joy; he loved campouts in the tent, limb line fishing, and walks in the timber. Sometimes at the end of a day of hard work, Carl would build a campfire in the woods and the family would eat apples and popcorn, watch the stars come out, and listen for the owls and coyotes. As the kids grew up Carl enjoyed following their interests and activities. Sam’s basketball games and track meets were priorities, and he never got tired of Sarah’s ballet performances. He honestly loved The Nutcracker. Carl also loved parties. Any sort of event to celebrate would do: all holidays, birthdays, autumn, summer…sharing time with friends made him very happy.

Carl was a reader and a thinker. He read widely, everything from Carl Sagan to Stephen Ambrose, and especially enjoyed biographies. He was also fascinated with ancient civilizations and buildings: pyramids, cathedrals, colosseums. He knew enough about the Hagia Sophia to be a tour guide. His memory was remarkable; he remembered rainfall, weather and grain and cattle prices from the time he began farming, and he remembered the height of the Salisbury Cathedral from a visit thirty years ago. To resist the effects of his disease and exercise his brain he did crossword puzzles in ink and long division in his head. Carl was a quiet intellectual. He didn’t correct others or parade his knowledge, he just enjoyed the process of learning about things.

Nearly twenty years ago, Carl was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which gradually took away his ability to do the things he loved. Ever resilient, he stayed positive, kept his quick wit and sense of humor, appreciated the good times and friends that came his way, and never complained. His family is grateful for hospice, who assisted Janice and Sam with caregiving over the past several months. Carl died at home with his family at his bedside. He will be lovingly remembered for his kindness and his calm way of interacting with the world.

Carl leaves behind his wife of 41 years, Janice; his son Sam and wife, Whitney, and their children, Nolan and Annie; his daughter Sarah and husband Matt Reynolds, and their children, Cecily and Robert; a sister, Helen; his brother, Lee and wife, Gerri and family; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Donna and Curt Nyquist and family.

Because of Covid concerns, a time for friends and family to share memories and celebrate Carl’s life will be held outdoors at the family cabin on Saturday, November 6, from 3 to 5 p.m. Text (620) 341-1592 for directions to the cabin.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in Carl’s memory may be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, in the hopes that science may someday soon find a cure for neurological diseases, or to Hand in Hand Hospice, for the care and support they give with skill and compassion. Gifts may be sent to Janice at 2873 Road X, Reading, KS, 66868 or VanArsdale Funeral Services, 107 N. Sixth, Osage City, KS, 66523.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carl Thomas Briggs, please visit our flower store.

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