Charles Irvin Briegel

October 31, 1949 - December 3, 2017

Charles Irvin Briegel of Bataiva.  It is a rare person that contributes so much, yet requires so little acknowledgement; Charlie Briegel is one of them.  He lived as a humble unpretentious man in every way, yet his deeds for others were, and still are, most generous.  Those he served will continually be inspired long after Charlie's passing on Dec. 3rd, 2017.

Although his life was cut short, it was far from incomplete. His ebullience for science led him to a life long career of over 42 years at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. The success of numerous projects and scientific papers have been attributed to the diligence of Charlie. The contributions he made to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey resulted in the naming of minor planet 142753 Briegel in his honor. Charlie further shared his passion to all he met as a professor at Aurora University by teaching classes in data structures and programming languages to aspiring computer scientists.

Prior to Fermilab, Charlie served as a Captain in the United States Air Force, flying F-100 fighter jets. He continued to serve an additional 6 years in the Air National Guard after completing his master’s degree from Indiana University; he received his Bachelor Degree from Capital University in Ohio before joining the USAF.  

The most inspiring of all his contributions to this world, even beyond Charlie's professional accomplishments, was his selflessness to aid his compatriots facing challenging times, such as those he served through the PADS organization & Salvation Army.

Despite the cancer that plagued his most recent days, Charlie considered himself fortunate to have such wonderful friends, kind neighbors, and most importantly, the love of his close family & Fermilab colleagues. Charlie's caring family includes his loving wife, Penny Frunzar of Batavia, Illinois, his son, Hunter John Briegel, a lawyer and person of great integrity of which Charlie was most proud, his eldest sister, Connie Everhart of Springfield, Ohio and her children with Jerry Everhart, and his youngest sister Charlene Yde and her husband, Bill of Woodstock, Georgia.

We wish him PEACE & COMFORT on his next journey as we here on earth look forward to our embrace once again.

Visitation will be held 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. Sunday, December 10, 2017, at Moss Family Funeral Home 209 South Batavia Ave. Batavia, IL.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be directed to the Fox Valley Food For Health, PADS, Salvation Army or any cancer research organization of your choice. 

Funeral services will begin with prayers 10:00 A.M. Monday, December 11, 2017, from Moss Family Funeral Home before proceeding to Holy Cross Catholic Church 2300 Main Street to celebrate Mass at 10:30 A.M.  Interment will be held private

Guest Book

  • Eric Kibler Charlie was my best friend in high school. One of the funny memories of him is going on a 3 week camping trip in the West when we were 23 yrs. old. We did not take a tent because he thought we did not need one. Scariest moment was sleeping in a cave at the Grand Canyon with all the bats on the ceiling. All night long. Woke up with bat poop all over my sleeping bag but as Charlie would say. Did you get a good nights sleep. I did. Thank you Charlie for some of the best times of my life especially traveling West in the Chevy Luv Truck.
  • Jeanette Miller What wonderful neighbors we have had in Charlie and Penny. Our hearts go out to you, Penny and Hunter, as well as to you Connie and Charlene. Praying for your family.
  • Stan Pruss Thank you for all your contributions Charlie!
  • Penny Frunzar When your loved one moves to another realm to a place of PEACE & COMFORT, you give them your blessings. I love you Charlie and will live my life emulating yours, seeing you and your sense of character grow everday in our son, Hunter. Rest in peace now 💕 Your contributions & love will continue to appreciate thru time.
  • Nora I'm so sorry for your loss. The pain and grief of loosing someone we love can seem unbearable. Something that can be comforting is God's word. As 1 Corinthians 1:3&4 says; ...the God of all comfort, who comforts all in our trials...The Bible helps us to understand how God feels about death. Isaiah 25:8 says God will defeat our enemy death, and it will be gone forever. -More comforting truths can be found in a book called "What Does the Bible Really Teach". I hope you will look into this subject further. I know it will bring you comfort and peace as it did me. Sincerely Nora Book found on JW.ORG
  • Dave Peterson Charlie knew how to make things work. He was the first I would call if I had a Controls question. His calm manner and keen insight were certainly welcome when others were near panic. I enjoyed his company on the bike rides out at the end of the day. He was a friend and mentor to many of us. He may be gone but his smile persists.
  • Carl Schumann Good bye, Charlie. Sorry you're gone so soon. Hired me at Fermi and for that I am thankful.
  • Chris & Tonya Fike Dear Charlene, Connie & Charlie's family, We wanted to extend our deepest sympathies to all of you. May God's comfort and peace be with you in the days ahead..
  • william pellico Charlie was a friend and a mentor. Riding home along side Charlie on his 30+ year old 10 speed bike was a treat. We talked about many things but will miss his humor most of all. I'm lucky to have know him and will never forget him.
  • Howie Pfeffer Back in the day, I would sometimes ride in Charlie's old pickup truck, which lacked a functional defroster. On cold winter days, he would scrape the inside of the windshield while driving, grinning the whole time. That was Charlie. Free spirit, happy guy, loving life. Miss you , man.
  • Jef Meisner I have known Charlie here at Fermilab for 37 years. He always got things done. When I changed groups to work in controls Charlie's humor came out even more often. Stories of Charlie and Penny as Hunter grew up became a special treat on Monday mornings. He was always teaching. To my Air Force comrade- Semper Fi my friend. You will be missed.
  • Greg Giese I've know Charlie since I began work at Fermilab 40 years ago. We were hanging out at the Fermilab pool recovering (he from tennis, me from a long night) when I first met my wife. He was and always will be a part of the most important day of my life. I could always count on Charlie to pick up my spirits with a simple visit to his office. rest in piece my friend.
  • Anita Dierkes I was a classmate of Charlies and send my condolences to his friends and family. I have not had any contact with him since those high school days, but what a wonderful life he had. It does not surprise me that he touched many lives in a special way.
  • Eliana & Manfred It always was a pleasure to work with Charlie, it was not just his outstanding skills and knowledge, he had so much humor, a happy smile, and a wonderful team spirit. During my time at the lab, he was the link between instrumentation and Controls, he made things happen, even if we had problems with Sushi restaurants near KEK in Japan. Eliana and I are so sorry that Charlie was taken away, we lost a wonderful person and colleague!
  • Chandra Bhat I knew Charlie for at least two decades at Fermilab. He was a great colleague, always smiling and helpful. Charlie, we truly miss you now on.
  • Karen Alt Penny, Hunter, Connie and Charlene, I was so sorry to hear of Charlie's passing. He has been in my thoughts and prayers since I first heard of his illness. I am so sorry for your loss. I knew Charlie in high school. I am sorry I didn't know him in later years. It sounds like he was a wonderful person. You are all in my prayers.
  • Mike and Danice Craney The Craneys are praying for comfort and peace. He was such a special man, and we have wonderful memories of times spent together. Penny and Hunter, please know that we're holding you close in our hearts...
  • John Ross Penny, Hunter, Charlene, and Connie: I am very saddened to hear of Charlie's passing. Charlie was one of my earliest role models, as I always looked up to him while growing up in Chatfield. May your happy memories help you find peace during this difficult time.
  • pfl My sincere condolences to the family. Losing a loved one is never easy. Death was never a part of God's original purpose for mankind. May you take comfort in God's future promise to bring an end, to all suffering and death on earth. Revelation 21:3, 4 and Isaiah 65; 21, 22.
  • Susan Wise Charlene and Connie, I am so sorry to read about Charlie's passing. Hugs and prayers as you hold dear fond memories of him. Susan Kurtz Wise
  • Marilyn Hanes Shealy I knew Charlie, Charlene and Connie growing up in Chatfield, Ohio. He always had the quick smile and sense of humor many of you are mentioning. My sincere sympathies to all his family and friends. What great accomplishments!
  • Al Legan I have worked with Charlie for close to 20 years, all the way up until my retirement from Fermilab in 2011. Charlie always brought a smile to every person he ever came into contact with. He will be sincerely missed. RIP Charlie.
  • Kristin Hardin We are very saddened to hear of Charlie's passing. He always had a kind smile and warm heart. We will miss seeing him in the neighborhood. Our thoughts are with you Penny and Hunter.
  • Sharon Lackey I had the privilege to know Charlie for all 42 years that he was at Fermilab. He was like a brother to me. We worked together on many projects and he always made the work fun. What a great father, husband and friend! RIP Charlie.
  • Paul C Czarapata I worked with Charlie for many years and especially close on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Charlie was an individual who worked hard yet still had a love of life and liked a good story. I was in the Air Force and I will miss his Air Force stories and miss seeing that wry smile. Fly high Charlie I'll miss you.
  • Ning Liu I have worked with Charlie on a few projects at the lab. He was always kind and passionate about the work, and had a great sense of humor. His good attitude and work ethic had a very positive effect on my young career. Sad to see you go Charlie. Thank you and rest in peace!
  • The Mack Family Although we only knew him for a short time since moving to the neighborhood, we will always cherish the warm smiles and good conversations. The announcement of the New Year in 2017 via bugle was a precious gift. Thank you Charlie!