Mr. Robert John ‘Windy’ Briese, age 85 of Woodbine, Ga. passed away early Saturday morning, July 5, 2014 at Hospice of the Golden Isles in Brunswick, Ga.
Mr. Briese was born in Hazelton, Pa. on February 16, 1929. He is the son of the late Mabel Young and Charles Briese. Mr. Briese graduated from Hazelton Senior High School in 1947. He served his country in the US Air Force from 1950 to 1960 and was in-country during the Korean Conflict. He was especially proud to have his wife Josephine’s name emblazoned on his aircraft, a Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star.
He went on to serve his country after active duty in the Georgia Air National Guard until 1969, ending his military career as having been a crew chief, a flight chief and a master sergeant. During his early time in the US Air Force, Mr. Briese found the love of his, Miss Josephine Ellen Gooding. They became man and wife in Kingsland, Ga. on August 11, 1952. Together they traveled to various military bases and later settled in Woodbine, Ga., where he ran the local Gulf gas & service station, and she taught in the local school system.
Mrs. Briese passed away in 2010. Mr. Briese was proud of his military accomplishments, but also of his involvement with the Boy Scouts, earning a Scouters Key Award and of being a member of the Order of the Arrow. He was also a past Master Mason and belonged to Lodge 326 in Woodbine. He is best known for his love of Fire Fighters everywhere, both locally and globally. After he closed his Gulf Station, Mr. Briese converted it into the Woodbine International Fire Museum, where it houses collections of firefighting equipment from the Revolution to the present and from all over the world.
The roster of the many hats Mr. Briese has worn include Firefighter, military man, aircraft mechanic, painter, hex sign artist, postal worker, salesman, service station manager, auto mechanic, fire extinguisher specialist, motorcycle rider, flyer, traveler, Girl & Boy Scout leader, deputy sheriff, philanthropist, mentor, and friend. Windy was a force to be reckoned with. He has been a fixture in Woodbine for many years and he will be greatly missed.
Mr. Briese is survived by his brother, George (Doris) Briese of Castle Rock, Co.; his nephews, Garry (Roni) Briese of Castle Rock, Co. and Shawn (April) Briese of Ormond Beach, Fl.; and his espoused children, Lannie (Jan) Brant & Cindy (Shane) Kennedy, all of White Oak, Ga.
A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 PM Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at Coastal Camden Funeral Home in Kingsland, Ga. Funeral services will be held at 11 AM, Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at the Woodbine United Methodist Church in Woodbine, Ga. with Pastor Tom Dent presiding. Pallbearers will be the South East Georgia Fire Fighters Honor Guard made up of Camden County, Kingsland & St. Marys fire fighters. Interment will follow in Homeward Cemetery in Waverly, Ga. with Fire Fighter honors to be rendered.
Memorial donations may be made to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial, 1750 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20006. (202) 824-8639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 16, 1929- July 5, 2014