Nelson Miles Griffiths Jr.

  • "I will miss Nelson, a faithful member of the Parkinson's..."
    - Kathy Castle
  • - Kathy Castle
  • "Nelson is greatly missed. Much love to his beloved family."
    - Donnie and Kathy Wilkerson

The Reverend Dr. Nelson Miles Griffiths, Jr., son of Nelson M. and Helen E. Griffiths, was born in South Killingly, CT. He died on January 26, 2018 in Gainesville, Florida at the age of 86. He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 62 years, Joyce E. Griffiths, three children, Marilyn Reiter (Cliff), Scott Griffiths (Barb) and Karen Lachelt (Jon), 9 grandchildren and one great grandson. He is survived by a brother, David Griffiths and a sister, Diana Russell, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by three brothers, Southward, Leroy and Kenneth Griffiths, and one sister, Roberta Dorr.
Born at home on the family farm in South Killingly, CT, he attended South Killingly one-room schoolhouse, Killingly High School and was the first in his family to attend college. Following undergraduate work at the University of Connecticut, he completed his Master's of Divinity at Andover-Newton Theological Seminary, and later, his Doctor of Ministry at San Francisco Theological Seminary.
In the ministry for 42 years, he served American Baptist churches in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Nebraska. He also served as director of college ministries for Western Pennsylvania for six years.
He loved to meet new people and hear their stories. He had very diverse interests including farming, gardening, automotive and other motor repair, sewing, baking, genealogy, and reading. His ministry continued even into retirement with many faithful visits to those facing long-term illness. Together with his wife, he created and sent more than 250 birthday and anniversary cards each year. They lived out their faith with gentle and kind efforts to build community among neighbors with gifts of homemade bread and far flung family members with cards, emails and phone calls.
Nelson valiantly battled the ravages of Parkinson's disease for the past 10 years. We are grateful for the caring and committed therapists at the UF Center for Movement Disorders, the special angels at Haven Hospice and the generous love and support from our church family. There will be a Memorial Service held at the United Church of Gainesville on Sunday, February 18th at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the UF Center For Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration Fund, 3450 Hull Road, Gainesville, 32607, to the United Church of Gainesville, 1624 NW 5th Avenue, Gainesville, 32603 or to Haven Hospice at Haven Development, 4200 NW 90th Blvd, Gainesville, 32606.

Published in Gainesville Sun from Feb. 4 to Feb. 5, 2018