Thomas W. Briggs
November 10, 1942 – August 2, 2018
Thomas Briggs, 75, retired Air Force Colonel and Flight Instructor for Flight Safety at Hawker Beechcraft, died August 2, 2018. Tom was born the son of Charles and Esther (Moody) Briggs on November 10, 1942 in Tulsa, OK. He graduated from Daniel Webster High School, Tulsa, OK, then continued his education and acquired a BS in industrial engineering from University of Oklahoma and was a big OU fan (Go Sooners!). He also acquired a master's degree in management from the University of Arkansas (Go Hogs!).
Tom served in the Air Force for 25 years. His true passion was as a fighter pilot, which took him to locations around the world, including Arizona, Florida, Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, Virginia, the Pentagon, Korea, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. During his time as a fighter pilot, he flew a T-41, T-37, T-38, F-4 D/E, and F-16 A/B/C/D. He was also a graduate of the U.S. Army War College.
He was awarded many commendations, including a Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with 8 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Device, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
After his military service, Tom went on to his second career, becoming a flight instructor at Flight Safety International at Hawker Beech Learning Center for 10 years, where he retired in 2008 to travel and pursue his other passions, which included golf, spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Tom was extremely active in his church life at Hillside Christian Church, Dedalians, and YMCA.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Ona Mae Earp; four brothers, Claude, Lloyd, Everett, and Joe Briggs; sister-in-law, Peggy Briggs; and brother-in-law, Guy Earp. He is survived by wife, Judy; son, Laney (Mary Jane) of Little Rock, AR.; daughter, Holly Patton (Tom) of Austin, TX.; grandchildren, Mary Claire Briggs, Andrew, Will and Ben Patton; stepdaughter, Natalie Haskett (Dwayne) of Boerne, TX.; step-grandchildren, Kevin and Kara Eberwein; brother, Lee Briggs; sister-in-law, Pat Briggs; brother and sister-in-law Jim and Gina Powell; and other family members and friends.
A long-time friend, John Admire, said that he has no doubt that Tommy is flying lead, has the angels in close and disciplined flying formation, and is becoming God's favorite and most esteemed Aviation Advisor.
Funeral Service will be Monday, August 6 at 1:30 pm at Hillside Christian Church, 8330 E. Douglas, Wichita, 67206. Military Interment to follow at Lakeview Cemetery, 12100 E. 13th St. N., Wichita 67206.
Memorials to Sedgwick County Fire Station 37, 4343 N. Woodlawn, Bel Aire, KS.
- McConnell AFB Honor Guard
Sedgwick County Fire Station 37
4343 N. Woodlawn, Bel Aire, Kansas
- Funeral Service Monday, August 6, 2018
Thomas W. Briggs
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August 6, 2018
Judy and family...Loss of a loved one is close to my heart. As my memories go back to pilot training, times at Homestead AFB, batting down Palmato Bugs, with Chiggers, Laney, Marilyn and Susan. Bitgurg days wow. Judy such a pleasure to meet you at the Fort Worth 67G reunion. Life has its path, carved by hills and valleys, we can only move on down the road and continue the joys of memories and look forward to the unknown...Enough salt water dispersed for the night...bless you all to loving memories and future happiness....GK
August 5, 2018
Rest Thomas, until you hear at dawn,
the low, clear reveille of God.
Thank you for your service to this nation.
August 4, 2018
Pilot training classmates from 67-G, Williams AFB, Arizona.