Faith Griefen

Faith Adams Griefen died with grace and composure that marked her life on November 1, 2013, at the age of 97 at Brookhaven, Lexington, surrounded by her family. She was a gentle person, deeply committed to racial justice and generous in her support of worthy causes and liberal politics. Faith was born on January 11, 1916 in Worcester, Massachusetts, the fourth daughter of Charles Perkins (C.P.) and Mary (Gayle) Adams. She graduated from Vassar College in 1937 and then went to work for the Gorham Silver Company where she met Jack Griefen and began their life-long romance. Jack and Faith were married in 1940 and had three sons, John, Michael and Ned. Faith was a "professional volunteer", serving as chairman of the Board of Boston Travelers Aid Family Services and of the Board of Travelers Aid International. She was active in the Cambridge YMCA and their work on racism. Faith was an early donor and on the Advisory Board for the Eyes on the Prize PBS documentary series by Henry Hampton on the African-American Civil Rights Movement. As part of the Cambridge Mothers Club, Faith went with Mary Peabody to work on a voter registration drive in Mississippi in the 1960's, sleeping on the floor of her host's home to avoid getting shot by passing white supremacists. A long time resident of Worcester and then Belmont, Faith lived for many years at Brookhaven, which she called Brook Heaven. Jack died at the age of 97, two years ago. Faith is survived by her three sons, John Adams Griefen of St. Avit-Senieur, France, Michael W. Griefen of Dummerston, VT. and Edward M. Griefen of Maplewood, NJ; four grandchildren, Zachery Knox Griefen of Montpelier, VT, Katherine Griefen of Brooklyn, NY, Ana and Lucas Griefen of Maplewood, NJ and great-grandchildren, Max and Naomi Griefen of Montpelier, VT. She is also dearly missed by devoted daughters-in-law, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. There will be a family committal service at Lynwood Cemetery in Weston, Massachusetts. Donations in Faith's name may be made to Travelers Aid Family Services, 727 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02111.


Published in The Lexington Minuteman from Nov. 11 to Nov. 18, 2013