The Guest Book is expired.
He came March 1, 1931.
As a young man, I realized that life was to be lived and the United States Air Force (USAF) gave me the opportunity to do much of this. I saw a great many places, served in times of war, I found a loving wife, we had three girls and, later, five granddaughters, and two great-grandsons. I was a handyman, a hunter, a carpenter, a fisherman, a mechanic, a storyteller, and an outdoorsman. I accomplished many things in my time but nothing greater than the family I leave behind.
He left June 7, 2013.
William "Bill" Dean Griffin was born March 1, 1931, to Chester Maye Griffin and Ila Draper on a farm near Queen City, Texas. As a teen, he joined the USAF and served with the Third Bomb Group and 13th Bomb Squadron, serving 17 combat missions in the Korean War. After 18 months in Korea and Japan, Bill returned stateside to Donaldson Air Force Base in South Carolina, where he met his wife, Virginia June Crabtree, and married on October 4, 1952.
Throughout the 1950's, Bill was assigned to the Aircraft Flight Engineers at Sewart AFB, then NATO headquarters in Paris, France, and later promoted to T-38 Flight Chief at Randolph AFB in San Antonio, TX.
By the mid-60's Bill transferred to Conley AFB in Waco, TX, where he resided until he took orders for Takhli, Thailand, during the Vietnam War. While in Thailand, he crewed the F-105 Supersonic Mach 2.5 with the 333rd Fighter/Bomb Squadron wing.
In November 1966, Bill was assigned to the American Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, for the Asian Peace Tour by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. He served as an assistant to the President's Staff Command Post and, for a job well done, Bill was awarded Johnson's Peace Medal.
In 1967, he returned to Randolph AFB as T-37 Flight Chief, until retiring from the military in 1969. Over his career, Bill was awarded numerous medals and ribbons for loyal service to his country.
After retirement, Bill worked for Volkswagen of America South Central Distributorship, in San Antonio for five years. When he left Volkswagen, Bill owned and operated a laundry and dry cleaning business serving Airmen in Military Tech, before retiring at the age of 50.
He enjoyed military reunions with the 13th Bomb Squadron and served as Vice President of the Kruger Neighborhood Association from 1995 to 1999.
William is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Virginia June Crabtree Griffin, daughters Pamela Diane Griffin, Karen Denise Griffin, Virginia "Ginny" Lee (nee Griffin) Brunner and husband Col. Carl Brunner; grandchildren: Brandy Wagers Moots and husband Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Moots, Audrey Denise Wagers, Shannon Lynn McGarvey, Rachel Anne Johnson, Leah Cloud Brunner; great-grandchildren: Ethan and Gavin Moots; sister Carolyn (nee Griffin) Herbort and brother-in-law Curtis Herbort; sister-in-law Laynette Griffin Johnson; brother- and sister-in-law John and Inez Crabtree; niece Jan Crabtree; numerous nieces and nephews; and his beloved dog Zach.
He was preceded in death by his parents Chester Maye Griffin and Ila Draper; sister Imogene Elizabeth Gardner and brother Wendell Ray Griffin. Graveside services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery, with full Air Force honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the
and the Alzheimers Foundation. To sign the online guestbook, go to www.sunsetfuneralhomesa.com .
Published in Express-News on June 17, 2013