OXFORD — Marilyn Marie Kauff Griffith, 93, of Sarasota, Florida, and a former longtime resident of Oxford, died Sunday, July 5, 2020, at her home in Sarasota. She was born Dec. 8, 1926 in Huntington, Indiana, to Cornelius B. and Laura Weaver Kauff and graduated from Huntington High School. On Sept. 28, 1946, she was married to Russell E. Griffith, Jr., in Huntington.
In 1948 the couple relocated to Oxford and became associated with Miami University. As the mother of five young children, Marilyn enrolled at Miami and graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She taught first grade at Kramer Elementary School for more than 20 years, where she enjoyed sharing her love of reading with all of her students.
In 1962, the couple agreed their children should experience Europe. The family embarked on a six-week adventure of a lifetime, traveling by train through 16 countries. Marilyn recorded and published highlights of their tour for her children. Fond memories and stories were created, and many family gatherings involved a story or two from that time. The couple continued to travel throughout the world for the next 50 years.
In 1979 Dr. and Mrs. Griffith had the honor of being named Miami Parents of the Year by Miami students. Marilyn had a beautiful smile and wonderful sense of humor. A great encourager, she kept in touch with her large family via newsy letters. And she created beautiful cross stitch keepsakes and quilts for all of her grandchildren. Care of her family, gracious hospitality to the couple's many friends, her faith, gardening, playing the piano and travel were focal points in Marilyn's life. Recently, Marilyn discovered a love of painting and began sharing her artwork with her family. After retiring, she volunteered with the McCullough-Hyde Hospital auxiliary and taught adults to read. She was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church for nearly seven decades.
Marilyn was predeceased by her husband, Russell; her sister, Helen Jean Kavanaugh; and her great-granddaughter Megan Tucky. Survivors include three daughters: Sondra (Roy) Witherington of Sarasota; Judith (Scott) Ransom of Winchester, Tennessee; and Barbara (Robert) Hottle of Hillsboro, Ohio; two sons: David (Elaine) Griffith of Maitland, Florida and Russell (Cynthia) Griffith III of Encinitas, California; a sister, Dorothy Hart; brother-in-law, Harold (Beverly) Griffith; 15 grandchildren: Lisa Torres, Jason Swift, Matthew Averbeck, Tracy Ransom, Audra Ransom, Whitney Cowles, Laura Brooker, Allison Gabbard, Susanna Faraday, Michael Hottle, Daniel Hottle, David Griffith, Jr., Rachael Lehr, Mitchell Griffith and Connor Griffith; numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews; and Jim, Lena and Elena Mehas, Mac and Lynn Corum, Merlyn and Janet Bartlett, and a family of close, loving friends.
Private services were held at Incarnation Catholic Church in Sarasota. Arrangements by the Toale Brothers Funeral Home, Sarasota. Oxford services will be held Monday, July 13, 2020 at St. Mary Catholic Church, 111 High Street, Oxford, 45056. Visitation from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial. Social distancing is being observed. Face masks required. Burial immediately following at Oxford Cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota 34238 or St. Mary Catholic Church, 111 E. High Street, Oxford 45056. Online condolences to www.oglepaulyoungfuneralhome.com