William T. Griffin Sr.

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December 10, 2013

William T. Griffin Sr., 73, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother died peacefully Tuesday surrounded by his family.

Born in Shelton, Conn., Sept. 22, 1940, he was a son of the late Thomas F. and Ella Kieley Griffin. He was married to Mary Manning Griffin on June 23, 1962, and raised three children.

Bill graduated from Needham High School, Needham, Mass., and attended Boston School of Business Art.

He served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Intelligence during Vietnam before graduating from Oglethorpe College and receiving an MBA with distinction from Babson College.

Bill and Mary raised their family in Dallas, until they retired to The Villages, Florida, in 2003.

Bill had a long tenure as an executive in the food service industry. He retired in 1997 as senior vice president of US Foods, where he was one of the initial founders.

He was admired and respected by friends and colleagues for his intelligence, creativity and quick wit.  He was an accomplished Texas Hold 'Em player and could regularly be found at local games in and around The Villages.

During retirement, Bill also enjoyed volunteering with the Marion County Sheriff's Department. Bill was an avid reader who enjoyed westerns and crime fiction, particularly those written by Robert B. Parker. As a talented artist, he delighted in drawing cartoons and caricatures for friends and family.  

Bill was a loving grandfather, who treasured the time he spent with his nine grandchildren ranging in age from three to thirty years old. Through his loving devotion to his family, Bill helped guide family members to lead full and purposeful lives.

He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Mary; son, Bill Griffin and wife, Kelly, Estero, Fla., and grandchildren, Justin, Mallory, Jamie and Rachel; daughter, Shaunna Crossen and husband, Jim, Orwigsburg, and grandchildren, Julia, Owen and Ella; son, TJ and wife, Heather, Austin, Texas, and grandchildren, Eamon and Hazel. He is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth Burns, and was known as Uncle Bill to many nieces and nephews.

The viewing will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, 5946 SE Robinson Road, Belleview. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday, officiated by Bill's nephew, the Rev. Hugh Burns, O.P., at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, Summerfield. Interment with military honors will follow at 2:30 p.m. in Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Fla. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dominican Fathers, 141 E. 65th St., New York, NY 10065 or Cornerstone Hospice — The Villages (www.cshospice.org).

Published in Republican & Herald on Dec. 15, 2013
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