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Gene and I were West Point classmates from Company B-2, Class of 1960. Gene was an ideal friend who could slide from laughter to serious thought and remain connected to both at the same time. He shared his life with a grace and energetic spirit that captured us all and I bless him for that. We shared some good times in France as cadets and I will never forget those days. May his family take consolation in having known him closely.
Lauren Lowe Barry
So sorry I just found out about Mr. Brisach. I remember him fondly.
So sorry to hear this you will be in our thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Robyn and Doug Potter and Mim Walker
Robyn and Doug Potter
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this great time of sorrow. Love always Robyn and Doug Potter and Mim Walker
Eugene Munson Brisach
Eugene (Gene) Munson Brisach passed away on September 11, 2022 at the Retreat at Osprey Village, with his wife by his side. He wrote the following in 2012: Eugene Munson Brisach was born March 15, 1939, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where his dad, Raymond (Ray) Charles Brisach (class of 1930, U.S. Military Academy) was attending what was then the Artillery Officer Course. His older sister, Beverly, who predeceased him, was born in 1935, and a younger sister, Athleen, in 1946. His mother, Athleen Munson Brisach, had two brothers, Frederick Munson, Class of 1926 and Delbert Munson, Class of 1940.
Gene’s childhood was spent moving from place to place when his dad was reassigned. What he liked most was 1949-50 in the Panama Canal Zone, but the family had to return to the US early when he, his younger sister, and his mother were stricken with polio. Gene and his sister were relatively unaffected, but his mother was severely paralyzed. After her treatment in Baltimore, the family moved to Alexandria, Virginia, where he graduated from George Washington High School in 1956, about the time his mother succumbed to the effects of her illness. He received a competitive appointment to USMA, was assigned to Company B, 2d regiment and graduated June 8, 1960, 36th academically in a class of 549. Later that year while attending the Engineer Officer Basic course, a tactical officer, who was unable to pronounce even the simplest of names, caused Gene to be forever saddled with the nickname “Berserk”.
28 ½ years of active-duty Army service as a Combat Engineer and Personnel Management Specialist found him all over the world: 7 years in Germany, three years in Southeast Asia, and 13 years in and around the Pentagon. In 1963, at the University of Illinois, he was awarded a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering (with a minor in “engineering physics”, a term he was never able to define).
He met and married Margaret (Peggy) Almond in 1969. He particularly enjoyed his three European tours, becoming an accomplished skier and fitness advocate, finally being promoted to Colonel in 1981. In 1984, he and two of his golf buddies from Heidelberg spent a week in Scotland. He considered that one of the highlights of his life. At the Old Course at St. Andrews, they played on a beautiful day the week after the British Open had been held there. The bleachers and TV towers were still there, along with many tourists. Gene hit his second shot on the par 4 18th hole onto the green and received polite applause as he walked to the green. He was pumped but missed the birdie putt!
He retired from the Army in 1988 and became a housewife and soccer “mom” while his kids were still in school in Virginia, but shortly, the marriage to Peggy, frayed for some time, fell apart and they were divorced in 1991. The two-year divorce process depressed him significantly, but at the 30th Class Reunion (for which he was Treasurer), he was buoyed and inspired by the support of his classmates from Company B2. That same year, B2 classmate and dear friend, Ed Handler, caused Gene to be introduced to Susanne Wilson Howson, a Wellesley graduate living in Florida. They became engaged in 1992 and married in 1995. When Gene left Virginia to move to Florida, he and Susie were feted at a party held by the DC contingent of the Class of 1960. She immediately fell in love with the group, and vice versa, often saying to Gene that she should have been an Army wife from the very beginning. What tribute to the Class of ’60! Gene and Susie took up golf with a vengeance since they lived on a golf and tennis resort (Amelia Island Plantation), but try as he might, he was never able to score below 81, and the day after reaching that peak of performance, he had his only hole-in-one (1993).
In 1992, he became Treasurer and a founding Board member of Nassau (County, Florida) Habitat for Humanity. At this writing, Nassau Habitat had completed 31 homes, all but two of which were still occupied by the original homeowners, in large part due to his efforts to shepherd those homeowners into a state of financial independence and dependability.
He was the founding treasurer of ARIAS (Amelia Residents In Action for the Symphony) and served on that board for 20 years.
He particularly loved twice-yearly gatherings of his West Point classmates at various golf events, several of which he and Susie hosted. He loved his family, his classmates, small dogs, classical music, frequent golf with Jacksonville classmates, Baker, Willson and McManus, cheap cigars, expensive gin, plants with flowers and the five grapefruit trees he grew from seeds in 1986 and moved to Florida in 1991, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He tried to live his life with major emphasis on honesty, integrity, thrift (“live within your means”) and dependability. There are a few things he might have done differently, but Susie’s not one of them.
So, Berserk has left the planet. He leaves behind his dear wife, Susanne, four daughters: Jennifer (Scott) Sargent, Amy (Brett) Scholz, Amanda (JB) Brooks and Kristin Cox; four stepsons: Peter (Kristen) Howson, Brian (Tina) Howson, Keith (Alexandra) Howson, and Stephen Howson. He also leaves 16 grandchildren and step grands: Allyssa, Reese and Brynn Sargent; Gracyn, Emercin and Paisley Scholz; Ledger, Colton and Laken Brooks, Jalyn Gray, Sabine Howson, Sophia, Jack and Alena Howson, and Andrew and Meghan Howson, and his sister, Athleen Novak. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Beverly.
Gene will be cremated, and his urn will be placed in a family plot at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date.
The family wishes to express sincere thanks to the staff at The Retreat at Osprey Village for their loving care and to Community Hospice for their wonderful care and guidance.
A memorial service will be held at Amelia Plantation Chapel on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 2:00 PM.