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Willard Alan Griner

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Willard Alan Griner Obituary
Willard Alan Griner

August 24, 1956-July 26, 2014

Alan Griner died Saturday, July 26, 2014, with his family at his side, whose prayers for his healing were answered when he was called to the presence of His Savior. Alan's earliest influence was the Christian upbringing provided by his devoted mother. He professed his dependence on Jesus Christ at a young age and attended several local churches throughout his life. At the time of his death, he was a member in good standing of Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Alan was born in Jacksonville, Florida, to Gordon Willard Griner and Virginia Sowell Griner, moving to Tallahassee at the age of two weeks. He attended Leonard Wesson Elementary School, Tallahassee Christian School and graduated in 1974 from Rickards High School. While working full time, he completed his Associate of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice in 1979 at Tallahassee Community College, moving on to Florida State University to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminology in 1984. He later served his alma maters as an adjunct professor, teaching in FSU's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice from 1993-1997 and in TCC's Criminal Justice Program from 1998-2008. In 1987, Alan moved to Macon, Georgia, to attend Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law and was awarded a juris doctorate in 1990.

Following high school graduation, Alan accepted employment at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, setting in motion a career that spanned nearly 40 years. In 1980, he became a deputy of the Leon County Sheriff's Office, serving as a SWAT team member and rising to the rank of sergeant. He was given the Law Enforcement Officer Distinguished Service Award by the Tallahassee Jaycees in 1982. In 1983, Sheriff Eddie Boone awarded him a Certificate of Commendation for Outstanding Service to the Community and he was named Tallahassee Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the Tallahassee Optimist Club. He was also listed in the 1983 register of Outstanding Young Men of America. The Committee of 99 recognized Alan as Outstanding Leon County Law Enforcement Officer in 1984. Returning to FDLE from 1985-1987 as a Special Agent, Alan worked in Protective Operations/Dignitary Protection where he was assigned to Governor and Mrs. Bob Graham, and was a member of the Counter Terrorism Squad. After the 1987-1990 law school hiatus, Alan became an assistant state attorney for five years in Florida's 2nd Judicial Circuit, assigned variously to the offices in Leon, Franklin and Wakulla counties. Between 1995 and 1997, Alan was briefly employed by the Agency for Healthcare Administration and the Department of Revenue. Following his heart, he rejoined LCSO in 1997 as General Counsel, and held the rank of major. One of the most rewarding aspects of his work was the additional responsibility of supervising the Sheriff's Office Mounted Posse, merging his love of law enforcement, community service and horses.

In 1991, Alan married the former Christi McClain. She survives him along with their daughters, Kellie and Julie. An accomplished man, Alan did not allow the distractions of a contemporary career to interrupt the timeless duties of a Christian gentleman. His priority was his family, and his life was ordered according to his responsibilities. Each day, he strived to honor the oath of his office and in all things to conduct himself with diligence, honesty, and Southern graciousness. His simple faithfulness was modeled on the admonition in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, "to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands ." Those around him were richly blessed.

Other survivors include his mother, Virginia Sowell Griner; brothers Greg Hough (Beverly), Charles Griner (Valerie) and Rick Griner; sisters Sherry Helms and Barbara Griner ; parents-in-law, Russell and Diane Doster and Stan and Judy McClain; brothers-in-law, Stan McClain (Ricki), Brett Doster (Iris) and Matt Doster; sisters-in-law, Susan Fulmer (Jay) and Megan McClain. He was predeceased by his father Gordon Willard Griner and a brother, Johnny Griner.

The funeral service will be held on Friday, August 1, 2014 at 11 a.m. at North Florida Baptist Church, 3000 North Meridian Road. Burial service will follow at Roselawn Cemetery on Piedmont Drive. The family will receive friends on Thursday, July 31, 2014 from 5-7 p.m. at North Florida Baptist Church. If you desire to make a charitable contribution in Alan's memory, please consider the Florida Sheriffs' Youth Ranches, 2486 Cecil Webb Place, Boys Ranch, Florida, 32060 or Ligonier Ministries, P.O.Box 863595, Orlando, Florida, 32886.

Beggs Funeral Home, 3322 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, is in charge of arrangements.

Published in Tallahassee Democrat from July 29 to July 31, 2014
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