Rubiko (Rose) Griffith
1925 - 2020
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Rubiko (Rose) Griffith

Rubiko (Rose) Griffith, 95, formerly of the East side of Des Moines and Urbandale, IA entered her heavenly home on October 8, 2020. Rose had been residing in Deltona, FL the past three years.

Rose was born on the island of le Shima, Okinawa, Japan to Shunichi and Haruko (Uezato) Shimabukuro on July 27, 1925. Rose worked and attended college in Tokyo, but returned to Okinawa after the war. She was employed as an interpreter/translator at Camp Kuwae in Okinawa when she attended a USO dance and met her future husband, Fred, who was stationed at Kadena AFB. They were married in 1951 and the following year Rose immigrated to the United States and they settled in the Des Moines area.

Rose and Fred had four children: Jenean, Robert, Susan and George. After the children had grown, Rose returned to college and graduated from Drake University with a B.S. in Biology. She worked as a Cytotechnologist for 30 years.

In retirement, she and Fred traveled extensively around the world, visiting countries in five out of the seven continents. Rose exceled as an artist, seamstress, cook, and was also a warm and loving hostess. She was loved by her family and many friends.

Rose is survived by her three children: Robert (Marylou) Griffith, Susan (Rob) Wells, George (Shelly) Griffith, her son-in law, Don Iverson, and 16 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Rose was preceded in death by her loving husband (Fred), her daughter (Jenean Iverson), her grandson (Justin Wells) as well as her parents, brother (Hiroshi) and sister (Mitsuko).

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a private memorial service celebrating Rose's life will be held by the family on Saturday, October 24th at Galilee Baptist Church in Des Moines, where Rose was a member for over 60 years. The service will be available for viewing on YouTube under Galilee Baptist Church Des Moines, in the days following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Galilee Baptist Church or to the Urbandale Senior Center.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in the Des Moines Register from Oct. 18 to Oct. 24, 2020.
Memorial service
Galilee Baptist Church
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
October 21, 2020
Heartfelt Condolences Arrangement- BASKET INCLUDED
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Sympathy Gift courtesy of
David Cantrell
October 20, 2020
Peaceful Passage Arrangement
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Tracy Peers
October 20, 2020
Rose was a dear friend and fellow artist who painted with our mother at the Urbandale Senior Center. When Mom moved to St. Louis with us Rose and fellow artists came to visit and we got to know and love Rose. Our Mom Norma Baranosky passed away on October 18th and I am sure she and Rose are reunited once again. They talked on the phone often and missed each other when they both moved from Des Moines.
We are so sorry for your loss and know you will miss your sweet Rose.
Mickey and Bill Knutson, family of Norma Baranosky
Mickey and Bill Knutson
October 20, 2020
We have very fond memories of Rose especially when she and Fred visited us in Cornwall England. As a couple they were so much fun. We had the opportunity to visit Rose in Des Moines when our daughter Sadie, husband Mark and their boys Noah and Rory moved to Winnetka Illinois. Rose made us so welcome and invited us to stay the night and took us out for a Sunday roast lunch. At the time we had no idea of the life she had led - what an amazing woman! Her family must feel so blessed. We will remember her with great affection.
Ken and Jane Scoble
October 20, 2020
My earliest childhood memories include a cozy little house in Des Moines, IA filled to the brim with warmth and love, and a tiny little woman with a huge heart. Hearing we were going to Uncle Fred and Aunt Rosie's house filled me with excitement, and we spent hours there with my cousins Bob, Susan, Jenean, and Georgie. They were a beautiful family, and I carried that ideal into my adult life. They were joyful and happy. But most important, there was undeniable love. I will miss my sweet Aunt Rosie, but look forward to seeing her beautiful heart again in Glory.
Boyd Merrifield Jr.
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