Charles Griffin

Obituary
  • "It's been too many years since our time in Monroe, but I..."
    - Jonathan Golden
  • "Offering our deepest condolences during this time."
    - The Staff of Gordon Funeral Service
  • "Pam, What a nice tribute to your Dad. He was indeed a very..."
  • "Pam, What a wonderful tribute to your Dad. He had a full..."
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    - Randy Jones

C. Frank Griffin CHARLOTTE - Charles Franklin Griffin, 87, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Monday, May 12, 2014, in the Stewart Health Center of the Cypress of Charlotte. He was born July 22, 1926 in Unionville, NC, son of the late N. Charles and Mary M. Griffin. Mr. Griffin was also preceded in death by his brothers Joseph M. Griffin and Elbert C. Griffin, sister Kathryn Griffin Hall, and son-in-law Arthur P. Rice. Frank attended Unionville schools and graduated from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill in 1947 with a BS Degree in Commerce. After his sophomore year at UNC, he enlisted in the US Navy during World War II from 1944-46, but spent most of his time in the Philadelphia Naval Hospital due to a hearing impairment diagnosed during his basic training. In 1950, he received a LL.B from Duke University School of Law where he remained for one year on the staff of the Duke University Legal Aid Clinic before returning to Monroe, NC to practice law for over 50 years. After practicing law solo for several years, he formed a partnership with Henry B. Smith Sr. as Smith & Griffin. After Mr. Smith's retirement, the law firm of Griffin, Caldwell, Helder and Steelman was formed where he practiced until he retired in 2003 "C. Frank" was a self-proclaimed "country lawyer" throughout his career and loved the practice of law. He was well respected by clients and adversaries alike and never experienced a day that he didn't thoroughly enjoy his chosen profession. Frank's passion for people was always evident with his ready smile, quick wit and love of laughter; all bringing joy and solid relationships to those fortunate enough to know him. He never seemed to meet a stranger no matter the place or the circumstance. Frank was the quintessential Southern gentleman who built his life around the principles of honesty, integrity, commitment, responsibility, service and advocacy. His love for Monroe, Union County (known by him as "The Promised Land") and North Carolina was evident through his service and dedication to each throughout his lifetime. He was a faithful member of Central United Methodist Church in Monroe, having served in many positions including Chairman of both the Board of Stewards and Finance Committees. Frank served as Union County Attorney for thirty years and was appointed to the North Carolina Banking Commission where he served for eight years. Frank was a member of the Board of Directors of American Bank and Trust Company, and later served as a board member for United Carolina Bankshares' holding company. Additionally, he served on the Board of Trustees of Charlotte College just prior to its merger into the University of North Carolina system; was on Union Memorial Hospital's Board of Directors; was President of the Monroe-Union County Chamber of Commerce; was Chairman of the Union County United Way; was President of the Monroe Lions Club; and was a charter member of Rolling Hills Country Club. Frank was honored by the Monroe-Union County Chamber of Commerce as "Man of the Year" in 1973, and also awarded "The Order of the Long Leaf Pine" from NC Governor Jim Hunt for distinguished service to the state. Frank was a loyal and active Democrat over the years and served as Chairman of the Union County Democratic Executive Committee. He represented North Carolina's 24th District as a State Senator during the 1965 and 1967 legislative sessions, and served as a North Carolina Delegate to the 1967 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Of all the beneficiaries of Frank Griffin's life journey, his family was always his top priority. He set a clear example of honesty, integrity, responsibility, and lifelong learning through his unconditional love and endless generosity. Frank and his wife, Betsy, were happily married and devoted to one another for almost sixty-one years. One of his greatest joys was the time spent with his four grandchildren as their "Big Frank." Frank is survived by his loving wife, Betsy Lee Griffin; daughters, Pamela Griffin Toledano of Mount Pleasant, SC (formerly Greenville, SC), Tina Griffin Rice of Wilmette, IL; as well as his adoring grandchildren, Sally Boiter of Charleston, SC, Griffin Boiter of Charlotte, NC, and Andrew and Caroline Rice of Wilmette, IL. The family offers our heartfelt thanksgiving to the nurses of the Stewart Health Center, the CNAs and staff of Cypress Homecare, as well as the nurses of Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region, who so compassionately tended to his every need over the past months. We hope you will remember Big Frank's "1000 thank yous" as well as ours, and know that your tender care will never be forgotten. A memorial service to celebrate Frank's life will be held at 3:00 PM Monday, May 19, 2014, at Central United Methodist Church in Monroe, NC. Reverends Britt Hadley and George Freeman will officiate. The family will receive friends preceding the service beginning at 1:00 PM in the church's Central Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 1420 E. 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28204, www.hpccr.org or to Central United Methodist Church, Music Fund, 801 South Hayne St, Monroe, NC 28112. Arrangements are in the care of Gordon Funeral Service, Monroe, NC. Please share condolences online at www.gordonfuneralservice. com.

Funeral Home
Gordon Funeral Service, Inc.
1904 Lancaster Avenue Monroe, NC 28112
(704) 283-8141
Funeral Home Details
Published in Charlotte Observer from May 16 to May 18, 2014
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