Edward McConnell Griffith

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Photo Edward McConnell Griffith August 3, 1917 - October 14, 2010 Edward McConnell Griffith passed away peacefully at his home in Hillsborough, California, on Thursday, October 14, 2010. Ted was the son of the late Adelaide Beardsley Griffith and Charles Lord Griffith, of Berkeley, and was the youngest of seven children. A third generation San Franciscan, his grandfather Captain Millen Griffith arrived in San Francisco Bay in 1848. His early education took place in Berkeley, California and Vevey, Switzerland. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1939, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. Upon graduating from UC Berkeley, Ted and several of his fraternity brothers toured Europe by bicycle. He married Helen Elizabeth Atkinson in 1940 and was a United States Naval officer in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war, Ted returned to San Francisco. He and his business partner, Clarence Slade, bought and refurbished several historic blocks between Sansome and Montgomery Streets in San Francisco, originally the Barbary Coast, now known as Jackson Square. He owned and managed Regency House, representing Brunschwig et Fils and many other decorative arts manufacturers, from 1946 through 1996. Through his work with decorative arts and antiques, he and his wife Betty frequently visited Europe on business. They restored a 16th century villa in the Tuscan countryside, Villa L'Acciaio, which became an outpost for family and many friends. A life long alpine skier, he and Betty enjoyed skiing throughout Europe and at their homes in Squaw Valley, California and in Sun Valley, Idaho. Ted continued to actively ski into his late eighties. Ted will be long remembered as a gracious and generous man. He was a friend to many and was thoughtful and kind to all. Ted was truly a "gentle man". Ted is survived by his wife of 70 years, Betty; sons, Thomas G. (Susan) of San Mateo and Richard A. (Mary) of Burlingame; grandchildren, Charles Lord Griffith, III (Jane) of San Mateo, Caroline Griffith Hobbs (Stephen) of Seattle, Millen Griffith, VI (Wheeler) of San Francisco, and Taylor Atkinson Griffith of Santa Clara; and great grandchildren, Teddy, Elizabeth and Abigail Hobbs. He was preceded in death by his son, Peter Edward Griffith, in 1966. Ted was a member of the Pacific Union Club, The Burlingame Country Club, one of the founding members and past President of Villa Taverna, The Society of California Pioneers, The Board of Filoli, The Priory in the USA of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Grace Cathedral. A private family memorial will be held.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Oct. 20 to Oct. 21, 2010
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