Daniel Shenon Briggs, 34, died July 4, 1998, in a sky diving accident.
He was born on January 3, 1964 in San Francisco to Herbert M. and Patricia M. Shenon Briggs. He grew up in Mill Valley, CA and attended Mount Tamalpais High School, where he excelled in science. In his senior year, he was a finalist in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. Dan attended Caltech, where he earned two bachelor's degrees, one in physics and one in applied mathematics. He then attended New Mexico Tech in Socorro, where he earned a master's degree in 1990 and a Ph.D. in 1995, both in physics with an astrophysics concentration. His dissertation, on the computer analysis of data from interferometers, which enhanced the resolution of computer images sent from radio telescopes, very quickly established a new standard for work in that field.After graduation, Dan held a two year post doctoral position at the U.S. Naval Research Lab in Washington D.C. He then began a second post-doc about one year ago at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. He was a highly respected astronomer and research programmer.
Dan was a man of many varied and passionate interests. Among them were juggling, origami, judo, Contra Dance, English Country Dance, playing the hammer dulcimer, playing the flute, Morris Dance, cats, and participating in Renaissance Faire and SCA events. He loved children, especially his own niece and nephew, and delighted them with his juggling, stilt-walking and sleight of hand.
Dan took up skydiving around 1992 in New Mexico and pursued it avidly for the rest of his life. He was a highly skilled jumper, with a D class "master" license and over 500 jumps to his credit. Many of his jumps were "canopy relative work" in which he made formations with other divers. He was member of a group called Diamond Quest, which performed such jumps.
Dan was a strong willed man with fierce loyalties to his family and friends and dedication to his scientific work.
He is survived by his sister and her husband, Jeanne and Robert Woodliff; nephew and niece Robby and Alyssa Woodliff; all of Fillmore UT. He is also survived by sisters Glennis Briggs and Lauchlin Divine, husband Craig, and niece Diana, all of CA; and his uncle Mike Shenon of Eugene, OR, and many dear friends.
Funeral Services will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, July 17, at Larkin Mortuary in Salt Lake City. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club, 2273 So. Highland Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84106
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