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Lane Roger Griffin


1936 - 2019
Lane Roger Griffin Obituary
Lane Roger Griffin
Lane "Roger" Griffin crossed the finish line, starting a new journey May 19, 2019 at age 83 while holding the hands of his family.
Born the son of Jack and Margaret (Ranahan) Griffin May 16, 1936, in Colville Washington. In 1942 the family moved to Ellensburg, Roger was six. Roger's work ethics stood out early. At ten, he delivered papers for the Ellensburg Daily Record. At fourteen, he worked part time for Wendle Johnson at Ellensburg Body and Fender shop learning the trade. He always said he started the car business at 14 with his sister Fay partnering to purchase a 33 Chevy coupe, paying $12.50 each. During the summers, he worked for Knudsen Lumber. At 16 he also helped to build MarDon Resort. Graduating Ellensburg High School in 1955, he moved to Seattle where and worked for Gene Fiedler Chevrolet as a Journeyman auto painter. He married his high school sweetheart, Jackie Carline and together they had three girls. They were a young family. In 1957 they moved to Bellevue, and he was employed by the Boeing Company as a Draftsman. Later he earned promotion to Finance Department Supervisor. Throughout the 60's he also painted tow trucks for Ibsen Towing and sold Trucks for Northwest Sales and Service (Bellevue Honda). He once repaired the only ambulance in Bellevue on a weekend when no other body shop could meet a deadline.
In 1970 he courageously left Boeing to build his used car business, Griffin Auto Lane. Roger is the last of the era where your handshake was cement, your word was good no matter what. He was known in the industry as "Honest Rog" and "The walking man's friend". He mentored many. Roger and the unique "lot" on Main street gained notoriety for being "On the hill - On the level" There proudly stood a 70 foot totem pole which was a gift from friends and family for the many giant salmon bakes following his fishing trips to Alaska. The "Auto Lane" was more than a car lot. It was a gathering place where friends, family, local police and city employees came to watch ballgames, barbecue, pick fresh tomatoes, wash a car, or just hang out. Sister Chery painted a swimming pool on the pavement, which started the tradition of pool parties at the Auto Lane. His inventory of cars over the years ran the gamut. If you had never seen one, Roger most likely had it. Roger's Dealer License is the oldest in Bellevue, representing 49 years in business to date. He had an irreproachable reputation in which he was very proud of. Although he sold the land and closed the car lot several years ago, he was still doing business on his last day.
Life for Roger centered around family and traditions, Ellensburg Rodeos, camping trips,boating, fishing, golf, including Indian Wells (where he shot a hole in one), Hosting St Patrick's Day annually and patio parties at home. He was an avid gardener and believed in growing what you can eat. He enjoyed making homemade sauerkraut and pickles, woodworking and making keepsake furniture from the family cherry tree. He could fix anything. Roger had a special love for children of all ages, and they all flocked to him to watch a shiny quarter appear from their ear or in their hand at the release of his magical handshake. His medical providers called him a miracle, a fighter and bionic man. Life member of the Royal order of the Moose #494, American Legion #8 and Fraternal Order of the Eagles.
Roger will be remembered for his kindness, generousity and quick wit. He believed "putting more in every day than you took out would make the world a better place". His love remains in all that knew him.
Proceeded in death; parents, Jack and Margaret Griffin; siblings, (Baby) Joe and John Griffin, Colleen Charles. Mother of his girls, Jackie
Survived by, daughters Nancy (David) Brooks, Julie Griffin, Becky (Bob) Eilert and son in law Ed Grifka
Grandchildren, R.J. Brooks (Kryss), Madison Brooks, Erin Grifka, Camis (Bill) Davis and Todd Eilert; Great Grandchildren Carter & Rylen Brooks, Hudson, Beckham & Sailor Davis.
Roger's Siblings, Fay (Bill) Moss, Ben Griffin, Darrell Griffin, and Chery Griffin; brother in law Fred Charles; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Also survived by Sue Korte and family; Janel Krahn, Del Korte, Keegan, Tommy & Ellie Krahn; as well as endless lifetime friends
Roger will be put to rest June 22, 2019 at 12:00PM, IOOF Cemetery, 1900 Brick Road, Ellensburg, Washington.
A Celebration of Roger's Life will follow at 1:00PM at the American Legion Post #8, 1101 E. Craig Ave.
Full obituary, guestbook and donations at https://www.americanmemorial.org/obits,
Published in Daily Record on June 20, 2019
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