Lillian “Lil” Robeta (Petersen) Briggs
Lillian “Lil” Roberta (Petersen) Briggs, 89, of Ft. Pierre, SD, was granted her angel wings on Thursday morning, October 17, 2013, in her home. She was born on January 9, 1924, in Parade, SD, to Arthur Peter and Amelia “Molly” (Simon) Petersen. She attended and graduated from Eagle Butte High School in Eagle Butte, SD in 1942.
On September 15, 1942, Lillian married Kirby Briggs of the Robbs Flat area. In 1943, they moved to the family ranch, Trails End, where an old log school house with two rooms was their first home. There they raised their five sons: Lane, K. Lee, Cody, and Cole. In 1952 they received electricity and in 1959 they remodeled and added running water. A woman of many talents, “Lil” ranched with her husband, raised her children, delivered mail for Robbs Flat (the Briggs family carried the US Mail for 50 years). Lil loved and enjoyed her life on the ranch; everyone was welcome at her table, she served a good meal, coffee, and great conversation. Kirby and Lil were pioneers in the cattle industry, one of the first ranchers in the area to utilize artificial insemination (1963). Beginning with Hereford cattle, they became interested in the highly muscled Limousin cattle. Pursing this idea, they were one of the first to breed Limousin cattle; and by 1969, they had the largest herd in North America. Later in 1979, Kirby and Lil purchased Bov Import Semen Sales in Colorado and operated it as Trails End Inc., Semen Sales and Service.
In 1982, Kirby and Lil moved to Stanley County, just west of Ft. Pierre and established the Trails End Ranch Headquarters. After retiring, Lil worked in the kitchen at the sale barn cafe for about 15 years as her artistic talents were arising. She then established Rawhide Originals, going by the name Diamond Lil. She made over 700 rawhides over a period of 20 years. Starting in 2000, she became involved with Stanley County school system’s Reading Buddies Program. Lil was also a member of Deep Creek Lutheran Church, Community Bible Church, Canvasbacks Art Club, and volunteered at Countryside Hospice.
Lil was passionate about kids, cattle, and horses. She was well-known and will be long remembered for her strength, giving nature, and her wry sense of humor. She was a wonderful example and guide for generations to come and will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege and honor to know her.
Especially grateful for having shared in her life are her sons: Lane (Sonja), Ft. Pierre; Lee (Mary), Robbs Flat; Cody (Lila), Ft. Pierre; Cole (friend Vicky), Robbs Flat; daughter-in-law: Eva Briggs; as well as daughter-in-laws Connie Moore and LaVonne Briggs. She was blessed with 16 grandchildren: Lane’s children: Warren, Wade, and Eileen; K’s children: Lea, Keith, Darcy, and Justin; Lee’s children: Rea and Keva; Cody’s children: Levi, K’Dee, and Lexi; Cole’s children: Beau, Chase, Erin, and Austin; 29 great grandchildren; nieces and nephews; sister-in-laws: Patricia “Patty” Petersen and Mary Hedman;
Lil was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Les Petersen; her sister, Alyce Horning; brother-in-law, Dale Horning; stepfather, John Hagel; husband, Kirby Briggs; brother-in-law Walter Keith Briggs (Bud); sister- in-law Wauneta (Briggs) Stoeser and her husband Roy Leo Stoeser, Brother-in-law Ralph (Bud) Hedman, son, Walter Keith “K” Briggs; and daughter-in-law, LuAnn Briggs.
Visitation was at Feigum Funeral Home on Monday, October 21, 2013, from 5-7 p.m. with a prayer service beginning at 7 p.m. Funeral services were Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at 11:30 a.m. at the Community Bible Church. There was a luncheon at the church following the service.