In Loving Memory of Lawrence Briggs: 1935-2022


Lawrence “Larry” Eugene Briggs, 87, passed into heaven on March 14, 2022, at his home in Chehalis, Washington, surrounded by his loving family. He was the sixth of 12 children born to Roland Lawrence Briggs and Opal Harriett Corey on March 5, 1935 in Sheyenne, North Dakota. He spent his early years helping his father farm and trap for furs on the homestead in Sheyenne, North Dakota. 

When the Briggs family sold the farm and moved to Riverdale, North Dakota, Lawrence attended Riverdale High School where he played football, ran hurdles in track and met his future wife, Patricia Cloa Phelan. Their first date was attending his senior prom. Lawrence and Patricia married on Aug. 13, 1956 in Riverdale, North Dakota. Lawrence and Patricia had a son and three daughters in Minot, North Dakota. 

In 1960, the couple relocated to Gettysburg, South Dakota, where Lawrence worked in farm sales, served in the U.S. Army reserves and became a member of the carpenters union. A fourth daughter was born in Gettysburg, South Dakota. Lawrence took a job in Mossyrock, Washington working on construction of the Mossyrock Dam. The Briggs family had a small farm in Onalaska, Washington where their youngest daughter was born in 1966. Larry worked as a carpenter on many construction sites around the state and in 1975 he was elected as the business agent for Carpenters Local 2127 where he served carpenters and their families until retiring in 1997. After retirement, Lawrence enjoyed hunting, gardening, birdwatching, reading, and spending time with his wife and six children’s families.

Larry’s greatest treasure in life was his family. He enjoyed the laughter and vitality of gatherings and holiday celebrations. He was an avid reader, wonderful storyteller, knowledgeable on many subjects, and very quick to find humor in any situation. He felt strongly that people should be judged by their character and was quick to lend a hand to someone in need. He was a generous loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. 

Lawrence leaves a legacy of loved ones including Patricia, his wife of 65 years; his daughter Erin (Michael) McQuigg of Centralia; son Anthony (Mary Lou) Briggs of Chehalis; daughter Pamela June of Chehalis; daughter Mary Ann (Bob) Carrick of Valley Springs, California; and daughter Shawn (Randy) Apperson of Chehalis. He was preceded in death by his daughter Rochelle (Richard) Shelman in 2015. 

In addition to his children, Lawrence leaves behind 15 grandchildren listed by their birth order: Matthew Briggs, Amy Legg, Jennifer Hamilton, Jaime Moen, Nicole Moen, Meagan Veal, Davielle Kelly, Darius Carrick, Ryan Apperson, Katrina Larson, Josiah Shelman, Christian Carrick, Brandon Apperson, Austen Apperson and Lauryn Apperson; 12 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Larry is also survived by his brother Arnold Briggs and three sisters: Barbara Schmitke, Sharon Briggs and Lorraine Skoglund, of North Dakota, and numerous nieces and nephews. 

The celebration of life for Larry will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 8, 2022, at Valley of Blessing Ministry, 243 U.S. Highway 12, Chehalis, Washington, 98532.

The family expresses their sincere appreciation to Julie Rice, ARNP for exceptional care during his golden years, and Providence Centralia ER, PeaceHealth Southwest in Vancouver, Assured Hospice, and Pastor Michael Fontenot for their support and care during his final week of life.