Ole Curtis Griffith Jr.
1921 - 2021
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Col. Ole Curtis Griffith, Jr. USAF (Ret.)

Ole Curtis Griffith, Jr. age 99, passed peacefully into the arms of the Lord on February 17, 2021, 3 months shy of his 100th birthday.

Colonel Griffith was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 22,1921 to Reverend and Mrs. O.C. Griffith. He attended Bellevue High School and Carnegie Institute of Technology, graduating in 1942 with a Bachelor's Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Later he received a Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University. He was also a graduate of the US Air Force Institute of Technology and the Air Command and Staff College.

Ole was commissioned in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in 1942 and graduated from flying school with the Class of 1943K. During World War II, Ole served with the 91st Photo Mapping Squadron in Central and South America. He served 28 years in various command, staff, and technical assignments. This included a tour of duty on the staff of the Secretary of Defense. He was a Command Pilot, with over 4,000 hours in more than 50 different types of aircraft. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, with Oak Leaf Cluster. He retired from the Air Force in 1970, and then joined the Garrett Turbine Engine Company in Phoenix, Arizona. There, he served in several engineering and program management positions, until his retirement in 1990.

Ole was proud that the B-25 he flew in South America is on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

Ole's lifelong passion for aviation began on his 6th birthday, when the United States received word that Charles Lindbergh had landed in Paris, following his transatlantic flight. His love for photography began when he snapped a picture of Lindbergh in 1927, the first photo that he ever took.

Ole was a widely published writer and photographer. He served 2 terms as President of the Phoenix Wing of the American Aviation Historical Society. He was a member of the Air Force Association, the Military Officer's Association, the Military Order of the Daedalians and the Quiet Birdmen. He was a founding member of both the National Air and Space Museum and The American Air Museum in Britain. His academic honors included membership in Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma, Theta Tau and Scabbard and Blade.

He was a lifelong learner, who was interested in everything. He was an avid reader, a world traveler, and a lover of family, God, and country. Ole never met a stranger and leaves behind hundreds of friends from all generations. He viewed death as an exciting adventure as he looked forward to meeting His Lord. Ole was an active participant at the Beatitudes Campus Retirement Community where he resided for 14 years.

Ole was predeceased by his parents, his wife, Victoria, his sister, Margaret Mooney, and his brother, Reverend John D. Griffith. His survivors include, son, Jeffrey, daughters, Jennifer Cecil (Darrell), Julie Anderson (Brad) and his girlfriend Joyce Stenquist and grandchildren, Audrey Kobsar (Jamie), Hilary Peele (Justin), Brandon Crowe (Brittany), Natalie Bowman (Tyler), Steven Anderson (Kristen), Zachary Cecil and Jodi O'Connor (Paul). He is also survived by 14 great grandchildren, Lincoln, Griffith, Bennett and Graham Crowe, Jaden, Jackson, and Keira Kobsar, Daelen, Easton, and Nolan Peele, Emerson and Cayden Bowman, and Abby Lynn and Hailey O'Connor and sister-in-law, Frances Griffith.

We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to Vicky at Hillside Senior Living for her unfailing love, care, and devotion to Ole, in his final months of life.

Services will be held on Saturday. February 27, 2021 at Hansen Desert Hills Mortuary and Memorial Park at 6500 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale, AZ. 85254. Viewing will be from 9-10:30 a.m. followed by a service in the Courtyard at 10:45 a.m. Every effort will be made to maintain social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Services will be live streamed via FACEBOOK for those unable to attend (Jennifer Griffith Crowe Cecil).




To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Feb. 18 to Feb. 24, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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22 entries
February 27, 2021
Ole will be remembered as a great aviator and a wonderful friend!
We were together as Knights of The Round Engine Table.
Chuck Bivenour
Friend
February 26, 2021
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Janet Moe
February 25, 2021
My family met Ole through our mother, Margie Horstman
From there Harold "Bunky" Snider met him through our mom .A
longtime friendship developed while all were living at the Beatitudes.
It was my pleasure (&our extended family) to know him through all
the events(including meals). My nephews ,Carl and Kent , were very
honored to meet him and get to know the wonderful man, and patriot
that he was. This could go on and on....Joining him for meals when I,
(Margo H.) often visited;either for a meal , or an event, or just good
entertainment ( Cahoots included). I nicknamed him (& before our
mom passed July,2014) ---UNCLE OLE.. He loved that so !!! All of us
had so much respect for him, loved his stories. It was a big pleasure
for me to help him with any cuisine, when I ' dropped' in (I visited
several that I knew there).Ole & I would and could just chat, chat &
chat.He loved people.He appreciated that.A true gentleman,a good
listener ,caring and ' down to earth!!' That scooter of his was effi-
cient ,& at times I couldnt catch up to him .I was checking on him
-his health & safety too.I did that often with any I visited. UNCLE OLE
was special.Meeting his family was a pleasure --My how cordial,well-
behaved and just a great looking group. One could easily tell whom they acquired their great looks from...PATRIARCH OLE,of course!!
PART 2 WILL continue at a later date. Yes,that's right!
STAY TUNED --Margo Horstman (Phoenix) & my family.
Margo Horstman
Friend
February 25, 2021
He was the sweetest man. A patient of ours at Paradise Valley Dermatology. I told him I was from Ohio, he kept asking me if I had visited Dayton where his plane was. I will for sure do this next time I'm back there. He was an amazing human being and the world is a better place because of Ole. God Bless to all of his family. He will be so missed.
Maureen O'Halloran
Acquaintance
February 25, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Deek harr
February 24, 2021
The first time I met Ole, he shook my hand and had that Ole smile which I soon realized this was Ole. He would take time to answer the many questions we had about his life. We will miss you.
JERRY Hall
Friend
February 24, 2021
I am so very blessed to have had Ole in my life for the last seven
years. He will live on in my heart forever.
Joyce Stenquist
Significant Other
February 23, 2021
Such fond memories of August days spent in Sedona and dinners together at Beatitudes. He will truly be missed.
Pat Dellisanti
Friend
February 22, 2021
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
February 22, 2021
The Colonel and your mother were our neighbors in North Central , really fine people. Our condolences. Fly high....................thank you for your service and moral compass.
Posey and John Nash
Neighbor
February 22, 2021
My father Joe Foss, was a friend of Ole's. I loved hearing all the stories. Papa had a lot of love and respect for Ole. I imagine them in heaven laughing, hugging, and telling their stories. God bless you, Ole.
Coni Foss
Friend
February 21, 2021
I met Ole about 10 years ago when I began working at Beautitudes rehab dept.
He was seeing one of our seasoned Physical Therapist and a couple years later I began to see OLe in different therapy settings mostly outpatient and some home health. Unfortunately, I am unable to make this brief as I saw him for almost 7 years. Every year he came for therapy to maintain his physical strength for the past almost 7 years. I could not believe his strength, patience, respect and his amazing intelligence and humor. I always looked forward to working with Ole and he became my friend over the years! During Covid-19 his Assisted living facility he lived at The Beautitudes (as all others) was shut down March till Sept 2020 and when things "opened" back up visits with family were still very limited/distant . Being an essential worker, I was able to continue to see Ole and help him stay strong as much as possible. I was also able to have his 99th birthday party for him he enjoyed a Carol's O'Briens mexican pizza and and ice cream pie! We had some staff and a couple residents on his floor attend and it was one of the best Memories for all! He also had a nice military haircut for his Birthday gift.
Ole was so adventurous and brave! I will miss him dearly and my prayers go out to his wonderful, loving family and Joyce.
RIP OLE
Nancy Reyes, occupational therapist
nancy reyes
Friend
February 21, 2021
My Dad (Jim Dias)and Ole were good friends and shared similar paths in life. I imagine he, all his friends and family are having a great reunion in Heaven. They were the greatest generation. My sympathy to the family for your loss but a long and well lived life.
Coleen Dias Kelly
Friend
February 20, 2021
Toni and I loved talking to Ole at the Aviation and Naval meetings. I was especially surprised to find out about his photo work flying in and out of Santiago, Chile, which happens to be where I was born. We were honored to be able to visit his "museum" apartment at the Beatitudes and I was able to reciprocate in a very small way by introducing Ole to Kermit Weeks at a meeting in 2017. Ole and Kermit had a great visit.
To a true gentleman...r.i.p. Ole
paul and toni patino
Friend
February 20, 2021
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Love Hoots Family Don, Ks, Pj
February 19, 2021
40 + years of memories from when Brandon was an infant . Ole would be at Brandon's & Kyles games. Selling candy year after year. I loved listening to all of his adventures. He always view the cup half full. His smile would light up the room. I am blessed to have known him. His adventure is just beginning. Love you more
Janet Navarrette Moe
Friend
February 19, 2021
A friend and flying buddy, Ole has Gone West. His absence will be felt, but our solace will be the treasure of memories he left us.

Blue Skies & Tailwinds to Ole! No doubt he will have smooth air, warm - soft tailwinds & a bright star to steer by on his westerly journey...
Billy & Cheryl Walker
Friend
February 19, 2021
Heaven has gained a jewel, but Ole will be greatly missed down here. Just imagine the glory he is seeing now.
Coni Foss
Friend
February 18, 2021
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His friends at PV Dermatology
February 18, 2021
I will always cherish the times he picked Brandon and me up from grade school. I remember eating honey teddy grahams in his van while listening to Rush Limbaugh.
Kyle
Friend
February 18, 2021
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Dena Meinhart Rafte
February 18, 2021
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Stephani-Paradise Valley Derm
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