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Judy Griffith

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Judy Griffith

Judy Griffith passed away peacefully on May 16, 2007, in Monterey, CA. She was born in Eureka, CA, on August 25th, 1964, to Frank and Jewel Griffith. She was the youngest of their seven children.

Raised in Loleta, she graduated from Fortuna High School in 1982 as the class valedictorian. She had many teachers she loved at FUHS, but especially her beloved basketball coach, mentor and lifetime supporter, Yvonne Rocha. Judy was an outstanding student/athlete all her life. In 1975, the Fortuna Boys Little League opened its doors to girls and she began her baseball career with the Dodgers becoming a dominating presence in the league. She was chosen to the 12-year old All-Star team in 1977 where she recorded 13 strikeouts and hit a home run in her team’s 2-1 first round victory in Weaverville. She had many great memories of her Little League years and of all her teammates.

Judy was one of the most prolific athletes to play in the H-DN League. She set records in basketball, Softball and won county titles in tennis. Judy was named California’s "Miss Basketball" in 1981 with superstar Cheryl Miller as the runner-up. She was very proud to be a part of the 1979 NCS 2A girls basketball championship team at Fortuna High with the entire starting five being from Loleta: Lisa Shanle, Chris (Roete) Jacobs, Melody (Freeman) MacMillian, and Judy’s sister, Karen. In 1982, she took a full-ride athletic scholarship to Stanford University where she played for coaches Dottie McCrea and Tara Vandeveer. She cherished her time at Stanford and enjoyed returning for team reunions. She graduated from Stanford in 1986 with her AB in Human Biology. She completed her teaching credential and Masters Degree in Education from Stanford in 1988. From there she entered the teaching profession and taught at Kennedy Middle School (Redwood City), Capuchino High School (San Bruno) and La Entrada Middle School (Menlo Park). Judy was an extraordinary teacher who used the hands-on approach in all her science classes. She put her entire heart and soul into teaching. She was loved by many students and colleagues.

Judy put her teaching on hold while her children were young. She planned to pursue a Doctorate in Education and become a professor at the university level to teach other teachers. She was a very dynamic person with a special gift for teaching and was able to impart her enthusiasm for learning to her students.

Judy was a "do-er" - she was a stay-at-home mom, completely devoted to her children. She worked in their classrooms and loved to bring in projects for the kids to make. She also coached their soccer, basketball, and baseball teams. From easel painting in the countryside to growing vegetables for the farmer’s market, she managed to give her children many wonderful experiences. She was a great mom. Family was of the utmost importance to her. She was excited about everything she did and was extremely creative.

Judy also enjoyed playing summer softball as one part of the "Griff" sister’s trio. She was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church in Monterey where she taught Sunday school and made many lifelong friends. Judy made friends wherever she went and still played in an adult women’s basketball league. She loved the Humboldt County Fair and going to Ferndale to shop and see the sights. She was a generous and unselfish person. She enjoyed doing things with her parents and loved everybody. She was very generous with her time for others. She was always there for her family and ready to help with anything they needed. She was clever, funny, creative and a practical joker. She will be missed by many.

Stories or remembrances of Judy may be sent to her sister, Karen, at P.O. Box 6732, Eureka, CA 95502 for a memory book.

She is survived by her husband, Eugene Loh, Pacific Grove; her children, Jacob (10), Elizabeth (9), and Henry (6); mother, Jewel Griffith, Eureka; brothers, David Griffith (Susie) East Alton, IL, Douglas Griffith (Nancy) Bloomington, IL, Richard Griffith (Clara) Fortuna; sisters, Joan Griffith, Eureka, and Karen Griffith, Eureka; aunts and uncles, George Griffith, McKinleyville, Charles Griffith (Esther), Gildford, MT, Mary Smith, Portland, OR, Clara Bakke (Orville), Eureka, Fern Cartwright, Eureka, Carol Steward, Lakeview, OR, Marge Forness (Robert), Astoria, OR, Glenn Creviston, Eureka, Nellie Galloway (Robert), Central Point, OR, and Michael Hendrickson, Richland, WA; nieces and nephews, Robert Griffith, Chad Griffith, Lori Roberts, Miranda Blair, Keeley Griffith, Alyssa Fisher, Dwight Griffith; and numerous very special cousins; and very special friends, Donna Sherman and Marty Casillas.

Judy was preceded in death by her beloved father, Frank Griffith, Jr.; brother, Donald Griffith; aunts, Irene Rountree, Florence Butler, Jeanette Creviston and Joan Albee.

A visitation will be held Thursday evening May 24, 2007, at Goble’s Mortuary, Fortuna, CA, from 2-5:00 PM and 7- 8:30 PM on Thursday May 24, 2007. Services will be held Friday May 25, 2007, at 10:00 AM at Christ Lutheran Church, 2132 Smith Lane, Fortuna. Pastor Jim Goldsmith officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Park in Eureka, CA. Everyone is invited to a gathering at Karen’s home in Eureka following the service. Pallbearers will be: Douglas Griffith, Richard Griffith, Chad Griffith, Dwight Griffith, Tom Cartwright, Michael Bakke, Marty Casillas, and Jovone Lende.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you please donate to the Judy Griffith Memorial Scholarship fund, through the Humboldt Area Foundation, in her name at 373 Indianola Road, Bayside, CA 95524.

Arrangements are under the direction of Goble’s Fortuna Mortuary, Fortuna, CA.

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Published in Eureka Times-Standard on May 23, 2007
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