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Reverend Edwin F. Griffith

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Beloved priest, Pearl Harbor survivor
Edwin F. Griffith joined the Lord and saints on Nov. 7 in Alamogordo. Father Ed, as he was affectionately known, was a Pearl Harbor survivor, having been on the first ship bombed that fateful Sunday in 1941, the USS California. He was only 17 at the time and lived through many harrowing experiences throughout the war.
He believed the Good Lord had saved his life because He had a mission for him to fulfill on earth. As a result, Father Ed went into the priesthood and devoted his entire life to serving the Lord and his parishioners.
Father Ed was born in Trinidad, Colo., to Anna Diemer and Edwin Fred Griffith. He was predeceased by a sister, Julia Harnish. His surviving sister, Wilma Garlutzo, lives in Denver.
Father Ed is survived by a niece, Darlene Garlutzo and her husband Steve Barnhill, of Aurora, Colo.; nephews Larry Garlutzo and his wife Greta, of Centennial, Colo., Arnie Alishio and his wife Cheryl of Golden, Colo., and Harvey Harnish and his wife Debbie, of Trinidad, Colo. In addition, he is survived by 13 grand-nieces and nephews, and his devoted caregiver, Ann Berry.
In 1940, Father Ed enlisted in the Navy during World War II and participated at Pearl Harbor, in the Coral Sea and Midway Sea battles, and later in the landings at Tarawa.
When he was discharged in 1946, he returned to his native Colorado and became active in church work. He joined the Holy Name Society, St. Vincent de Paul Societies and the Knights of Columbus, but always felt he was doing so little for the Lord.
While working for Continental Airlines, he made a stop in El Paso, Texas, and went to St. Patrick's Cathedral. He felt he was too old to become a priest, but met a priest who encouraged him to enter the priesthood. He was the oldest member of his class. He entered St. Thomas Seminary in Denver for studies in philosophy in 1958. He was ordained in El Paso on May 20, 1964.
His parishes included St. Catherine's Parish in Pecos, Texas, and then he joined the Diocese of Las Cruces. He served as pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Immaculate Conception Church, St. John the Apostle, St. Joseph's and San Isidro. In addition, he served at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Truth or Consequences and Santa Rita Church in Carrizozo.
His latter years were spent as an active parishioner at St. Jude Mission Parish in Alamogordo, where he proudly gave his ordination chalice to Fr. Wayne Herpin, S.J., pastor. He developed a close relationship with Father Wayne until his death.
Until his death, he loved his Lord, his family, the mountains, the birds and children. He loved to smoke his pipe and talk about the "days gone bye." His sweet smile and witty humor will be sorely missed by those who loved and respected him.
Visitation will be held at 5 p.m. at St. Jude Mission Parish on Sunday, Nov. 11. The vigil wake will begin at 7 p.m., followed by the recitation of the Rosary led by the Rosary Society. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated by Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, C.S.B., at 9 a.m. at St. Jude Mission Parish on Monday, Nov. 12 Internment will follow at Immaculate Conception Cemetery with full military honors. A luncheon will follow in the Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Renovation and Maintenance Fund at St. Jude Mission Parish would be greatly appreciated. Father Ed was always concerned about St. Jude Mission Parish and it was his wish that it be restored to its original beauty.
Funeral arrangements under the direction of the Alamogordo Funeral Home.
To sign the online register book, please visit www.alamogordofuneralhome.org.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Nov. 9 to Nov. 23, 2007
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