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Donald J. Griffin


1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Donald J. Griffin Obituary
August 19, 1928 - May 22, 2017 Captain (Ret.) USMC, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines / 2nd Marine Division Don Griffin died peacefully in his sleep Monday, May 22, 2017 at the age of 88. May 21st would have been his 62nd wedding anniversary to Barbara Jane Griffin, whom he now joins in Heaven. Loving son, husband, father, grandfather and friend - Don Griffin was a class act, born in Jersey City August 30, 1928 to Mary and John Griffin. An only child, Donald was raised lovingly by his mother Mary and her father, John Henry Ram. Growing up during the Depression, he was 13 when Pearl Harbor was attacked and later entered USMC Platoon Leaders Course at Quantico, Virginia. In 1946 he enrolled at Villanova University. In June of 1950, the Korean War broke out and Don was called up to Quantico. He attended Artillery School at Fort Sill, OK, and then Air Observer School at Camp Lejeune, NC. He was then assigned to the Air Observer Group, 2nd Marine Div. and sent to Culebra, Puerto Rico, on maneuvers. During those maneuvers Don twice saved the life of a Sargent named Fernandez, first by carrying him away from a burning plane that had crashed, and second, when he would not allow an inebriated doctor to operate on the man. He then returned to Villanova and graduated with a BA in Economics. In 1952 Don's first job was at Bamberger's Dept. Store in NY, where he completed the Management training program and became an assistant buyer in men's accessories. At 5:15 every night a gorgeous woman in hat and gloves walked through Bamberger's. She was Barbara Jane Byrne, who would become his wife in 1955 and together they raised a family of 5 children-Mark, Mindy, Jeff, Chris and Andrea. Once married, Don and Barbara settled in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, and Don would take the train into the city. In 1954 Donald went to work for Carter's and would spend the next 35 years there, starting as a salesmen in NY, then moving to Los Angeles in 1974 to head up the LA region, then moving to Boston in 1983 as Senior Vice President. In 1984 he became Executive Vice President and was asked to join the Board of Directors. Don retired in 1989 and he and Barbara became grandparents in 1991 to Coleman Griffin. Between Coleman, his golf buddies and traveling with Barb, Don thoroughly enjoyed retired life. Don lost Barbara to cancer in 1995, and would focus his attention on his grandkids: Coleman, baby Griffin, Marie, Katie, Adrianna and later Gabriel. Don was a man of humor, humility and faith who enjoyed his family and friends, golfing, red wine, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream!
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 1 to June 4, 2017
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