Norris Samuel Griffin (1931 - 2018)

Obituary
  • "Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us..."
  • "Neil and David and families- My thoughts are with all of..."
    - Ann McNinch
  • "I have so many fond memories of Mr. Griffin and the Griffin..."
    - Vickie (Stierhoff) Jones
  • "Uncle Norris was my favorite uncle. I remember him as..."
    - Steven Griffin
  • "I only met Norris once,but heard from him through step..."
    - Norma Chilton

Norris Samuel Griffin, 86, died July 11, 2018, in Charlotte, N.C. He was born in Rural Hall, North Carolina, on September 2, 1931, the son of the late Jesse Lee and Ola Styers Griffin. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 36 years, Jeanette "Jan" Priddy Griffin. He was also preceded in death by his second wife of 15 years, Helen Chilton Griffin. Norris was the middle of seven children raised on a small tobacco farm during the Depression. The value of hard work and education was instilled in him by his parents at an early age and he loved to share stories about his childhood with all who knew him. His focus on immediate and extended family and his Christian faith as a Lutheran continued throughout his life. Norris will be remembered and cherished as a loving husband, brother, father and grandfather. His love for family, keen intellect, drive to succeed, and desire to help others succeed served as a constant source of strength and will continue as his legacy. Norris graduated from Wallburg High School in 1949. After graduation, he served his country in the United States Air Force during the Korean War and was stationed at Kimpo air base in South Korea. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 1958 and was a life-long Demon Deacon fan. Norris enjoyed a distinguished career in commercial finance and asset-based lending and held executive positions at American Credit Corporation, Bank of Virginia, and the Associates Corporation. He was well known throughout the furniture and textile industries as a result of his business relationships. He served on the Board of Directors of the National Commercial Financial Conference from 1971-1982, including terms as Vice President, President, and Chairman of the Board. Throughout his career, Norris demonstrated a strong desire to mentor future business leaders. A fond family memory is Norris' receipt of Christmas cards and gifts from former clients long after he had stopped working. Norris retired in 1985 to assist his wife Jan during her battle with leukemia. Norris was a member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church where he served on the Church Council and was a member of the choir. He loved the game of golf and shared that love and time together with his two sons. He was extremely proud of his two holes-in-one at Myers Park Country Club. Norris always looked forward to his two-week vacation each year in Blowing Rock, N.C where he hosted family and friends and built lifetime memories. He enjoyed the large family reunions with his siblings and their families, and he cherished birthdays and special holidays. He was actively involved in the lives of his grandchildren as his health permitted. For a time, Norris served his community as a guardian ad litem for under-privileged children. We will all miss his signature salutation of "Greetings!" Norris is survived by sons Neil (Amy) Griffin of Clemmons, N.C. and David Griffin of Charlotte, N.C.; step-daughters Leslie (Greg) Blum, Claire (Sheldon) Parfitt and Janet (Jerry) Ratchford, all of Charlotte, N.C.; and seven grandchildren: William Griffin, Allie Blum, Cole Blum, Julia Griffin, Benjamin Griffin, John Ratchford and Jordan Ratchford. He is also survived by sisters Regina Ryder of Wilmington, N.C. and Jessie Motsinger of Gastonia, N.C., and brother Douglas Griffin of Hickory, N.C. In addition to his parents and two wives, Norris was preceded in death by his brother Joseph Griffin and sisters Angeline Hamm and Barbara Coe. A celebration of Norris' life will be held at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, July 14, at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Charlotte, N.C. The family will receive friends from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff of Brookdale Claire Bridge and to Hospice and Palliative Care, Charlotte Region for their loving care and compassion. Memorials can be made to the Children's Home Society of N.C., P.O. Box 14608, Greensboro, N.C. 27415.

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Hankins & Whittington
1111 East Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 315-6241
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Published in Charlotte Observer on July 13, 2018
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