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James L. Griffith

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Griffith, James L.
Nov 11, 1926 - Jun 17, 2013

Bellevue, NE. Born in Hammond, IN to Herschel H. and Ethel M. (Mummart) Griffith. Jim married Beverly Parham on November 26, 1947 in Bloomington, IN. A 1949 graduate of Indiana University, he received professional designations as a Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Life Underwriter, and Fellow, Life Management Institute. He spent his working career as the Financial Officer of several major life insurance companies. Enlisting in the Navy in 1944 at the age of 17, Jim saw service in World War II in the Pacific Theater of Operations. He remained in the Naval Reserve after the war, and retired in 1986 as a Commander. A member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) throughout his life, Jim served as Elder, Stephen Leader and Stephen Minister, choir member and soloist, Sunday School teacher, and Church Treasurer at First Christian Church, Omaha. Jim was also a fifty-year member of the Masonic Lodge (Papillion Chapter #39), Scottish Rite; American Legion; Military Officers Association; the Indiana Association of Certified Public Accountants; and the American College of Life Underwriters. "Griff" sang in his first barbershop quartet as a freshman in High School. He joined the Barbershop Harmony Society (formerly SPEBSQSA) in 1963. During his 50-year barbershop career, Jim founded barbershop chapters and choruses in Owensboro, KY, Watertown, SD, and Papillion, NE. He established the summer choir replacement program with his Sarpy Serenaders Barbershop Chorus, singing for many years in Omaha area churches. He personally recruited 59 members into the Barbershop Society, and served the 5-state Central States District as President in 1986-1987. Singing in many organized quartets through the years, Jim often recalled the 42 performances of The Music Man that he sang with his quartet at the Omaha Community Playhouse in 1995 as the most fun he had in his whole life. Jim's happy marriage, his involvement with barbershop music, and his dedication to his Church were the greatest joys in his life. After a 15-month battle with cancer, Jim passed peacefully from this life on June 17, 2013 at Josie Harper Hospice House in Omaha. He had maintained an active barbershop performance schedule until a month before his death. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; and his brothers, Charles Griffith of Lexington, KY, Clarence Griffith of Sarasota, FL, and David Griffith of Richmond, IN. His beloved wife, Beverly, preceded him in death on June 15, 2013. Jim is survived by his daughters, Sylvia Griffith, Lincoln, NE, Marilyn Griffith, LaVista, NE, and Judith Dus (Ray), Eagan, MN; his sister, Jane Harrell (Norris) of Renton, WA; 5 grandchildren; and 2 great grandchildren.
A JOINT MEMORIAL SERVICE for Jim and his wife will be held on Saturday, July 20, 2013, 11am at First Christian Church in Omaha. Memorials in Jim's memory are suggested to: the Barbershop Harmony Foundation. HEAFEY-HEAFEY-HOFFMANN
DWORAK-CUTLER
WEST CENTER CHAPEL
78th & West Center 402-391-3900
www.heafeyheafey.com


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Published in Omaha World-Herald on July 7, 2013
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