Thomas H. Griffin
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Norfolk - Capt. Thomas Holt Griffin, USN (Ret.), of Waynesboro, Virginia passed away on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at his residence.
He was born on June 17, 1924 in North Carolina, son of the late Clyde and Madeline Griffin. Capt. Griffin left Sanford, NC in 1942 to join the Navy. At the age of 19, in June of 1944, he became the youngest commissioned naval aviator, with the exception of President George H. W. Bush. His service in the Navy carried him from Pensacola, FL to Honolulu, HI and Berkley, CA, where he attended the University of California. He went on to Monterey, CA, Norfolk, VA, and Washington, D.C., where he later attended George Washington University and then overseas to Mildenhall, England. Capt. Griffin and his family returned to Washington, D.C. where he oversaw the selection and purchase of helicopters for the White House. Capt. Griffin retired in 1975 after a distinguished 33 year career. He was the recipient of the National Defense Medal. After retirement, he attended Old Dominion University receiving a Masters Degree in psychology. He and his family relocated to Afton, VA and later on to Waynesboro, where he became the executive director of the local American Red Cross Chapter. He and his wife, Joy, enjoyed many years of traveling, playing golf at the Waynesboro Country Club and participating in state Republican activities.
He is survived by his wife, Leatrice Joy Griffin, his daughter, Sharon Lea Adinolfi and husband David Weinand of Waynesboro; his son, Jack Griffin and wife Nancy Galler of Vienna, VA, and daughter Katharine Power and husband Charles of Encino, CA; his grandchildren Joanna Nunan and husband Tom of Chesapeake and their two children, Brigid and Grainne Nunan; Joy Santos of Huntington, CT and her two children, Jaime and Christian; Chris Griffin and his wife, Allison of Gainesville, VA; his sister, LaRue Bost of Sanford, NC and her children Jack and Brenda Bost of Lemon Springs, NC, Pam and Alan Bresson of Boca Raton, FL, Danny and Ann Bost of Broadway, NC. He is also survived by his nephew, Bill Ward and Sherry Ward of Burlington, WI, nieces Paulette Domingo of Gallatin, TN and Patti Ann Tucker and her husband David of Kalamazoo, MI.
Capt. Griffin was predeceased by his granddaughter, Jill M. Collins.
A funeral mass will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, January 10, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 300 Maple Avenue, Waynesboro. A reception will follow at the Waynesboro Country Club.
Interment will take place at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Capt. Griffin's name to the Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20004.
McDow Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.mcdowfuneralhomeinc.com
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Jan. 8, 2014