Virgil Ray Blackmon Griffith
Virgil Ray Blackmon Griffith, "V.Ray", was born December 15, 1953 in Bay Minette, AL. Sunday, March 9, 2014 he began his ride along the streets of Heaven. Ray was a life-long resident of Pensacola, graduate of PHS, Class of 1971. After graduating, he enlisted in the U.S. Army
where he served for six years, with his last two years as a Drill Instructor. Law Enforcement was his next career, joining the Escambia County Sheriff's Dept. in 1978 and serving for 32 years in many capacities; Pensacola Beach Patrol, K-9 Unit, School Resource Officer, Front Desk Sgt., Sgt. in charge of security at the Court House. While working 40 hour weeks, he continued his education to complete his bachelor degree in criminal justice at Troy University. He was the founding member of the Sheriff's Dept. Honor Guard. His greatest passion and joy was as a Motor Officer in Traffic, retiring as Sgt. in charge of traffic. Running funeral escorts was something Ray took great pride in because it showed respect for the citizens of Escambia County who may have never called upon the Sheriff's Office.
He was a member of the Krewe of Mayoki Indians and loved parading. As a Mayoki he found that he had a talent for face painting. He loved painting faces and would continue to paint until the float was pulling away. This was just one of his many hidden talents. He always walked the parades so he could hand beads to the children along the way.
Above all else, Ray's love and passion was riding motorcycles. He was co-founder of the Blue Knight's Motorcycle Club, FL Chapter XXVI and past President. He turned his passion of riding into helping others by starting, with the help of his friend Bambi Provost, the Sacred Heart Miracle Camp Charity Ride in 2003. His passion of riding also transferred over to his wife and son and became a family affair making memories together never to be forgotten. Helping others learn to ride or work on their motorcycles was another passion.
Ray's love for people and helping others was his way of life. He would stand up for what he believed to help someone even if it got him in trouble.
He was preceded in death by his father, Virgil Lee Blackmon; mother, Dorothy Ganey Blackmon Griffith and his brother, Mark Griffith.
He is survived by his devoted wife and best friend of 41 years, Priscilla; his son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Katie; his dad, Mac (Sherri); sister and brother-in-law, Wanda and Rob McAllister; sister, Margaret Dean; brothers, Andy (Carol) and Mack Griffith. A special neice, Nicole McClelland (Josh); special nephew, Robert McAllister; his two "Special Babies", Josiah and Adalyn, many sisters and brothers-in-law, aunts, uncles, cousins and countless friends.
Pallbearers are Neil Forrester, Robert Powers, Rick Frye, Steve Smith, Joe Webber, Darrel Webb, Al Fryer, and Ski Gowitzke. Honorary pallbearers are Larry Stewart, Chris Miller, Ronnie Bryant, Tim Willis, Tom Vaughn, Billy Winters, John Beachman and members of the Blue Knights Florida Chapter XXVI.
The family would like to send a "special thanks" to the Sacred Heart 2nd floor nurses and staff, as well as the Sacred Heart Oncology entire team for their support and care. They went above and beyond their call of duty to help Ray and his family through this journey.
While flowers are appreciated, the family requests that donations be made in memory of V. Ray to Miracle Camp c/o Sacred Heart Foundation Suite 260 Pensacola, Florida 32504.
Ray is now riding the streets of Heaven free of pain, making "u" turns, leaving fond memories behind.
The family will receive friends at Faith Chapel Funeral Home North, Thursday, March 13, 2014 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Funeral Service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, March 14, 2014 at Faith Chapel Funeral Home North with Reverend Alan Blackmon officiating. Graveside service will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery.
FAITH CHAPEL FUNERAL HOME NORTH, 1000 Hwy 29S, Cantonment, FL 32533 in entrusted with arrangements. You may express your condolences online at www.fcfhs.com
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