Maj. James B. Griffith Jr., U.S. Air Force (Ret.), age 77, of Miramar Beach, Fla., formerly of Huntsville, Ala., passed away on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, at his home. He was born on June 3, 1936, in Cedar Bluff, Miss., to James B. Griffith, Sr., and Edna Ellis Griffith. He was Protestant by faith and a member of Faith Assembly Christian Church.
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James honorably served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1954 to 1974, retiring as a major and was a veteran of Korea and Vietnam. Following his retirement from the military, he joined the Civil Service for the Army then served from 1975 to 1996, and once again retired. He was a member of the VFW and often enjoyed visiting England which held a special place in his heart as he met his loving wife, Jennifer, of 49 ½ years of marriage, before her passing in 2008.
Deep sea fishing on the Marler Fleet was one of his favorite things. He was also a judge at the docks during the annual Destin fishing rodeo. He also enjoyed watching and going to ice hockey games. James loved the beautiful beaches and they were the attraction for moving to the area.
He was preceded in death by his parents, loving wife, Jennifer; cousin, Emmett Griffith; and many other relatives.
Survivors include his loving son, Todd Griffith, of Miramar Beach; sister, Mary Frank (Bill) Taylor of Starkville, Miss.; niece, Mary Frances (Billy) Rye and children Taylor and Anna Grace of Florence, Ala.; nephew, Will Taylor of Columbus, Miss., and his children Carson and Sam; cousins, Ann Ellis, Glenda Manning, Gene Vickers, and Cindy Kabelac all of Tupelo, Miss.; Russell Davis, adopted son of Jim and really good friend of Todd; and close friends, Liz Rushing and Bruce Cheeves.
The family will receive friends at a visitation on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, beginning at 1 p.m., at the Faith Assembly Christian Church, 306 S. Geronimo St., Miramar Beach, Fla. A celebration of life service will follow at 2 p.m., with Pastor Toy Arnett officiating. Full military honors will end the service. The family will greet friends after all services at the Griffith home.
Honorary pallbearers are Russell Davis, Bill Rieker, Robin Syrett, Theo's Pizza Pub, English Family, Huntsville, Ala., friends, Rob Wadman, Mississippi Family, local friends of Miramar Beach, Sam Taylor, Will Taylor, and Emerald Bay friends.
McLaughlin Mortuary, 17 Chestnut Ave. SE, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., have been entrusted with the arrangements.
Flowers are greatly appreciated or you can make a donation in lieu of flowers, in James' name, to the Destin Fishing Rodeo, 103 Stahlman Ave., Destin, Fla., Destin Museum, 108 Stahlman Ave., Destin, FL., Emerald Coast Hospice, 340 Beal Pkwy NW, Ste. C, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32458, or
, 225 N. Michigan Ave, Fla. 17, Chicago, IL 60601; www.alz.org.
Expressions of love and sympathy can be viewed online at www.mclaughlinmortuary.com.
17 Chestnut Ave SE Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Feb. 5, 2014