Long time history professor at SUNY Potsdam Robert (Bob) Lincoln Briggs, 90, died at his home on Oct. 8, 2010 of complications from a seven year long battle against Parkinson's disease. Wonderful caregivers and the caring staff of Hospice and Palliative Care allowed him to be at home.
He was born in Lakewood, Ohio October 23, 1919 to Bert A. and Nettie (Buechler)
Briggs. His education included an AB from Denison University in 1943, an AM from the University of New Mexico in 1945, and a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1962.
He served as professor of history at Butler University in Indiana and Case Institute of Technology in Ohio before coming to Potsdam College in 1961. While at Potsdam he was responsible for starting the Distinguished Speakers Program, His special interests included legal history and the Progressive Era. He enjoyed rewriting and editing lectures each year to incorporate new material. His ultimate pleasure came if a lecture was well-received by students, especially if one of them caught the spark and became excited about research.
Sabbatical leaves were used for research at the Library of Congress and for exploring how American Studies were addressed in Great Britain, France, Spain and the Netherlands. He often brought in speakers to address current topics of interest such as the oil crisis in the 1970s.
On June 16, 1962 he married Katherine (Kay) Palamaryk whom he met at the University of Chicago. They first lived in Potsdam and later moved to Canton.
Bob is survived by his wife Kay; a nephew, Bill (Jeanne) Osterland; a niece, Judy (Ted) Thornton; a great nephew, Buzz Thornton; and a great niece, Katie (Nick) Parkhurst.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Ruth; and brother-in-law Bill Osterland.
At this time, plans for a celebration of life/memorial service have not been completed.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to a charity of your choice. United Helpers, Hospice and Palliative Care Services of St. Lawrence Valley,
SUNY Potsdam History Department, or the Robert and Katherine Briggs Scholarship Endowment Fund.
Arrangements for cremation were with Seymour Funeral Home, Potsdam.