Funeral services for Jean L. Griffith, 86, were conducted by Pastor Roger Claxton on Thursday, June 11, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Audubon. Interment was in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Audubon. The honorary casket bearers will be her granddaughters LaRae Maggard, Heather Chambers, Amber Stevens, Stephanie Griffith, Megan Griffith, and Kaitlyn Griffith. The casket bearers will be her grandsons Randy Olsen, Michael Olsen, Jason Stevens, Tyler Stevens, John Feltner, Tim Feltner, Nathan King, Kris King, Brian Partlow, Kevin Partlow, Joe Griffith, Nick Griffith, Andy Griffith, and Terry Griffith. The Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon was in charge of the arrangements.
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Jean Lucille Griffith, the daughter of Charles H. and Lulu (Williams) Hodges, was born Nov. 25, 1928, at her parents' home near Council Bluffs, and died June 7, 2015, at the Thomas Rest Haven in Coon Rapids, at the age of 86 years, 6 months, and 12 days.
Jean was baptized and confirmed as an adult at the First Presbyterian Church in Audubon. She attended grade school in Mondamin, then graduated from the Logan High School in Logan, with the Class of 1946. Jean was employed at several local businesses including the Soda Fountain and the grocery store and later worked for the telephone company as an operator for a few years. On Oct. 1, 1950, Jean and her two daughters Lorayne and Bev moved to Audubon. She worked at the Dinner Bell Cafe for Earl Stafford and then was employed as an operator for the local telephone company for many years until December of 1962 when the company modernized and went to dial.
On July 11, 1951, she was united in marriage to Charles E. Griffith in Missouri Valley. Jean worked as an operator for several years then operated a café and lounge for a short time before she began helping Charles grow row crops and raise livestock. Jean raised chickens marketing the eggs and dressing over 500 chickens a year and also enjoyed canning fruits and vegetables. For a period of time Jean then initiated a registered dog business. She had 100 AKC registered dogs and approximately 75 puppies most of the time. She spent many hours a day cleaning kennels and keeping records. She also marketed dogs with Pete and Laura Testroet shipping dogs all across the United Sates. Also during this time, Jean was employed by the Department of Human Services training couples to be licensed for foster care. She sold her dog breeding business and decided to devote her time to foster care. Jean was licensed in the early 1970's and for 30 years cared for over 168 children and adopted three children. She also assembled car parts for General Motors in which many of the children helped with to earn some "spending" money. She continued her assembling business for over fourteen years until she retired due to her health. Jean enjoyed her home then moved to the Thomas Rest Haven in 2013.
Jean was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Audubon, for over fifty years. She was a member of the Farm Bureau and served as chairman of the Audubon County Farm Bureau Women and a member of the Little Heralds. Jean was an extraordinary seamstress and made many of the clothes for her children and grandchildren.
Jean was preceded in death by her grandson Brandon Olsen; her great-granddaughter Kate Griffith; her sons-in-law Terry Feltner and John Ringen; her parents; her father-in-law and mother-in-law Harold and Lola Griffith; an infant sister; her brothers and sisters Clinton and wife Mina Hodges, Pauline Stentz, JoAnn Bobenmoyer, Leo Hodges, and Earnest Hodges; her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Clark and wife Betty Griffith, Harold Dickinson, Don Thompson; a nephew Earnest Hodges, Jr.; and a niece Deb Caddell.
Survivors include her husband Charles E. Griffith of Audubon; her children Connie (Ron) Partlow of Urbandale, Roger (Marge) Griffith of Audubon, Lorayne Ringen of Maquoketa, Bev (Keith) King of Audubon, Linda (Dennis) Doggett of Boone, Bill (Frances) Griffith of West Fork, Ark., and Scott (Renee) Griffith of Cedar Falls; her grandchildren Brian Partlow, Kevin (Cindy) Partlow, Heather (Matt) Chambers, Andy (Heather) Griffith, Terry (Jennifer) Griffith, Randy (Denise) Olsen, Michael (Nicole) Olsen, LaRae Maggard and friend Scott, John (Darla) Feltner, Tim Feltner and fiancée Nessa, Nathan (Rachael) King, Kris (Stefanie) King, Jason (Juliet) Stevens, Amber Stevens, Tyler (Sarah) Stevens, Nick Griffith, Joey Griffith, Stephanie Griffith, Megan Griffith, and Kaitlyn Griffith; 45 great-grandchildren; 9 great-great-grandchildren, her sisters Elaine Thompson of Woodbine, Marie Dickinson of Logan, Doris Ramsey of Phoenix, Ariz.; her sisters-in-law Ardis Hodges of Logan, Eleanor Hodges of Fort Collins, Colo., Marjorie Cajka of California; her brothers-in-law Loren (Deanna) Griffith of Oregon, Jack (Elaine) Griffith of California, and James E. Bobenmoyer of Audubon, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Kessler Funeral Home
515 S Division St
Audubon, IA 50025
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from June 12 to June 19, 2015