• 20211202-151100-3bdfc6a2e4

Former state legislator, Adams County Commissioner and Westminster Mayor Pro Tem Bob Briggs died unexpectedly of a heart attack Dec. 2 at his daughter’s home in Erie.

He was 83, just weeks short of his 84th birthday, his daughter Christy Meiers said.

“He had eight siblings in his family,” Meiers said.”He was the first boy, after five sisters. His brother (Al Briggs) died a week ago and he’s been really upset about losing his little brother. And now, they’re both gone.”

He is survived by his wife Shirley, Meiers and his son Robert “Chip” Briggs, and their families.

Meiers said her parents had moved in with her in Erie due to medical issues in 2020.

“He fainted this morning, and I told the EMTs at the time to go ahead and resuscitate him,” she said. “They got him back for a short time and got him to the hospital. But by the time he got there, he was alert enough that he told the doctor himself that he did not want to be resuscitated if he had another attack. And he had another heart attack shortly after that.”

She said that he brought an office full of plaques and awards that he had collected throughout the years when he moved in with her.

“He had 250 plaques from all the service organizations and we put as many up as we could,” Meiers said. “My daughter went and took pictures and a video of all the plaques and I have a bin full of the ones that we didn’t have room for.”

He was born in 1937 in Greeley, but his family moved to Westminster in 1943. A 1955 graduate of Westminster High School, Briggs earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in horticulture from Colorado State University.

Right kind of environment

In a 2016 profile in the Westminster Window, Briggs said his education in horticulture helped shape his views on politics.

“Well, plants have to have the right kind of environment to grow,” Briggs said. “People have to have the right kind of environment to grow and prosper. And so there’s a relationship between the two. If you don’t create the right kind of environment, the community doesn’t grow.”

Briggs had a long career in local and state politics, serving as Adams County Commissioner for four years beginning in 1979, as the local Board Member for the Regional Transportation District for four years in 1999, and a State Representative for District 29 from Jan. 2003-2005. He served two terms on the Westminster City Council from 2007-2015, including a stint as the Mayor Pro Tem.

He also served as a charter President of the old Westminster Chamber of Commerce in 1967. That group merged with the Adams County Chamber in 1982 and he served as a board member there as well.

He also lent his time to the Colorado Greenhouse Grower’s Association, the Westminster Open Space Board, the Westminster Rotary, the Jefferson County Historical Commission and was still serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the Butterfly Pavilion. He was a longtime proponent of local rail, helping to found the advocacy group Rocky Mountain Rail.

In the 2016 Westminster Window profile, Briggs said he wanted to contribute to the community that had helped him so much.

“I had many, many people over my lifetime who have made contributions to me, and I don’t think I adequately thanked them, right?” Briggs said. “But I still owe a debt to them. I’m still trying to pay it forward to thank those who supported me in my endeavors.”

He was also a 60-plus-year member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church on Bradburn Blvd. and helped the church build a columbarium in 2020, a repository for the ashes for church members. His daughter Meiers said his remains will be cremated and will be interred in that columbarium.

She said the family is currently planning a memorial service after the holidays. Services will be handled by Olinger Mortuary in Wheatridge.