LouCiel Briggs Taggart, originally of Burlington, Wyo., who traveled the world alongside her husband and life partner, Scott Hinckley Taggart, died on Saturday, Dec. 18, of complications from old age. She was 90.
LouCiel was born Aug. 10, 1931 to Ivan Richards Briggs and Annabelle Thorley, in Cowley, fifth of what would be 11 children. Born and raised on a farm, LouCiel acquired an understanding of the value of hard work and perseverance. She often said that anyone raised in Burlington could bear up under anything: “You think that’s hard? I’m from Burlington!”
She attended Big Horn Academy where she excelled in her studies, later securing the position of secretary to the VP of Husky Oil in Cody at the age of 17, where she was tagged with the nickname “Suzi,” by which she would be known her whole life long by anyone from the Big Horn Basin. Hard work quickly developed into a life of service; upon receiving her first paycheck, she began sending money home to her family, a pattern of selflessness that would continue throughout her life.
She was raised to be a strong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Missionary work was a central focus from an early age. LouCiel served as a stake missionary while living in Cody. She believed strongly that her brothers needed to be free to “get out of the house and serve a mission” to thereby gain more education.
She worked to pay for two of her brothers to serve, each called to New Zealand. Her waiting on the Lord for an opportunity for her own mission finally came to an end when she quit her job at Husky Oil and was called to the New Zealand; Auckland mission. With no benefactor to provide, LouCiel ventured out on nothing but faith. As she told it, every month someone would come up to her father and say, “I hear your daughter’s on a mission. Here,” and they would give him a check for the exact amount needed for that month.
She loved her first mission, later referring to it often with love and admiration for the Maori people. Upon her release, she then traveled the world, seeking to further her own education and experience.
After returning to the States, LouCiel married Scott Hinckley Taggart, an engineer with Boeing Aircraft Company. The intrepid travelers grew their family to five children while accepting overseas assignments, leading to a life abroad, including postings to Paris, France, and Johannesburg, South Africa.
They settled in Seattle, Wash., later retiring to Prescott, Ariz. After Scott’s retirement from Boeing at age 55, LouCiel and Scott accepted the call to preside over the mission in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This was followed by missions in Ivory Coast (lead elder and sister); Zaire (mission president); the Santiago Chile Temple; the Swiss Temple (temple presidency); the Madrid, Spain Temple; the Guayaquil, Ecuador Temple (temple presidency); a mission as welfare specialists to Chile; Temple President and Matron to the Montreal Quebec Temple; Visitor Center missionaries at the Saint George Temple; Family History missionaries at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
After Scott’s passing in 2015, she dedicated all free time to temple work and singing in local choirs. She loved her friends there. LouCiel was a well-read, intelligent, funny and feisty woman. She sought out and was welcoming to anyone she thought looked alone or lost. Her life reflected a dedication to service, in and out of the church. There never has been, and never will be, another like her.
She is survived by her five children: Thorley Briggs Taggart (Eileen); Dan Briggs Taggart (Suzett); Christiana Wilks (Doug); Amy Warner (Forrest); and Elise Kelson (Dan); five of her siblings: Keith Briggs (Jo), Virginia Semadeni (Hank), Ivan Briggs (Suzanna), Richard Briggs (Liz), and Maryann Sanders (Paul); 18 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
LouCiel is preceded in death by her husband, Scott, and by her brothers Fenton, Garth, Dave, and James Briggs, and her sister Marilyn Wardell.
Funeral service will be Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, viewing at 10 a.m., funeral at 11:30 a.m., at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 142 W. 200 North, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101. Interment at Riverside Cemetery in Cody. Services under the direction of Walker-Sanderson, Orem.