Cover photo for Dr. Richard Briët's Obituary
Dr. Richard Briët Profile Photo

Dr. Richard Briët

June 18, 1942 — October 28, 2023

Dr. Richard Briët

June 18, 1942 — October 28, 2023



Dr. Richard Briët was born on June 18, 1942 in Temanggoeng on the island of Java, Indonesia to the late Fernand Antoine Briët and Amelia Bertha Caroline Hofdijk Briët, four months after the Japanese landed on the island.

He worked hard and earned his PhD. Then worked for more than 40 years in his chosen fields of science.

(1) Life in the Dutch East Indies
1942 - 1953

In the early days his family moved often. So all his siblings were born in different places in Central Java. First born was his brother, Eugene Briët, then came Florence Briët, and next Elisabeth Briët,  and then came Dr. Richard Briët who was the 4th of 5 children. After he was born, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki occurred. His family then moved to Soerabaja where their youngest sibling, Evangeline Briët was born.

Richard's 3 sisters have passed on and so they are now survived by their brother, Eugene Briët , who is currently living in Holland. He is also survived by his children Rosewita Briët, Paul Briët, Pierre Briët, and Eunice Briët.

Not long after Evangeline Briët was born, the family moved on a troop transport ship to Semarang. Richard recalled looking at an approaching submarine that was checking up on them. But unlike other ships, theirs was not torpedoed and sent to the bottom of the sea. They lived in Semarang until August of 1953 when president Soekarno of Indonesia expelled the Dutch-Indonesian people. And that’s when they were shipped to The Netherlands.

(2) Life in The Netherlands
1953 - 1961

They moved to Amsterdam where Richard finished elementary school at the “Elout van Soeterwoude school,” then went on to the “Jan Toorop High School” in Slotermeer. He graduated high school on July 19, 1961, and the very following day on July 20, 1961 is when they emigrated to California under the Pastore Walter Act because they were considered displaced people.

(3) Life in USA

On July 20, 1961 he departed from Schiphol, the International Airport in Amsterdam, arrived at LaGuardia Airport in New York, and after a few hours layover we flew to Las Vegas for a brief stop and continued to LAX. He was picked up by his late sister, Florence Briet and some of her friends who prearranged a place to live in Bellflower.

His first job was in Chemical Research and Development while taking an evening class for English for Foreign Students at Long Beach City College. As a new immigrant he was obligated to register for military duty within 2 weeks of arrival. He registered in Downey.

After Long Beach City College he went on to Cal State Long Beach, and from there to graduate school where he earned his PhD in Solid State Physics (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Plasma Physics) and Mathematics from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Richard loved his family, camping, white river rafting, visiting national parks, playing his guitar and singing. He loved science, philosophy, history, cultures, and especially lightning. He loved everything about lightning. He came up with an idea called LTMP Application: Least Time Maximum Probability theory of lightning propagation.

His heart and passion was in his field of work. Amongst other positions, he worked as a senior engineer in nuclear survivability and vulnerability, a design specialist in electromagnetic and nuclear radiation effects, and most recently as a space scientist and engineer with Aerospace in the electromagnetic interference department. He had many publications and presentations at National and International Conferences in the USA, UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Taiwan, and the last one he did was in Japan. He became a widely recognized expert in Plasma Physics, Electromagnetic Effects, Lightning, and Space Radiation Effects.

Later in life he began to develop health and personal life issues. He struggled getting a proper diagnosis until 2018 when an infectious disease doctor diagnosed him with a rare condition called Yellow Nail Syndrome that affected his lymphatic system. At the time, only approx 150 people have been diagnosed with this condition in the world so very little is known about it. It caused pleural effusions and lymphatic fluids in other parts of his body. This past year it became progressively worse. Multiple hospital stays and surgical procedures. He was a fighter though and he wanted to live. But during his last week, it was really hard. The goal was to get him to a skilled nursing facility and eventually back to his apartment on hospice. His mind wanted to keep going, but his body was just not able to keep up. Eventually he prayed to exchange the pain for peace which he received on the night of the Full Hunter’s Moon, October 28, 2023.

He lived a full life and though it was rough towards the end, he appreciated all who have helped him along the way.

And now after living on 3 continents on planet Earth, Dr. Richard Briët has gone on to his next phase, as energy in the Universe.


The following was written by Dr. Richard  Briët: 

As the late Dr. Carl Sagan said in his Cosmos series: “The Universe is BIG!. REALLY BIG!”

I have gone to suspect that his may be an understatement, or at least for me it’s incomprehensible.

On the other hand we have Albert Einstein who gave me hope by saying:

“What is so incomprehensible about the Universe is that it is comprehensible!”

We are part of the Universe. We are Stardust.

Let’s celebrate. After all,



Arrangements are under the care of Forest Lawn, Cypress, CA.

Service Schedule

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Visitation of Richard Briet

Monday, November 27, 2023

Starts at 4:00 pm (Pacific time)

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Funeral Service of Richard Briet

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

9:00 - 10:00 am (Pacific time)

Forest Lawn - Cypress - Patriots Chapel

4471 Lincoln Ave, Cypress, CA 90630

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