Ralph Griffith
1925 - 2015
Groce Funeral Home - West Asheville
1401 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC
Ralph Edwin


Asheville - Ralph Edwin Griffith, who worked for a President, U.S. senator and a governor after a newspaper career, died Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at his residence in Asheville, NC.

When he retired in 1987 he was director of the U.S. Senate Radio/Television Recording Studio, which was located in the basement of the U.S. Capitol. It capped a career that began in his hometown of Bluefield, WV, as a reporter on the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. He also worked on the Bluefield Sunset News and then moved to The Knoxville (TN) Journal, where he remained for 17 years

Griffith resigned from The Journal in 1968, while political editor, to become press secretary for former U.S. Sen. Howard H. Baker R - TN. He returned to Tennessee in 1971 to be press director and to help manage the successful campaign of former Gov. Winfield Dunn. Dunn became the first Republican governor of that state in 50 years. He served four years in Governor Dunn's cabinet before returning to Washington in 1975 where he was appointed director of congressional/press relations in the Office of Telecommunications Policy, Executive Office of President Ford.

In 1977 he was appointed executive director of the National Republican Governors Association and in 1981 was named director of the radio/television studio, which served Republican and Democrat members of the U.S. Senate. He directed the installation of cameras and trained the first operators when that body first provided television signals for broadcast. He installed the first fiber optic cable in Washington to be used for television, which gave senators access to news programs all over the world from the basement of the Senate.

He moved to Asheville in 1989.

Griffith was a veteran of WWII, serving on the submarine U.S.S. Piranha in the Pacific Theater of Operations.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Gail Henderson Griffith; sons, Alan Griffith, of Rockford, IL, and Ed Griffith, of Knoxville, TN; daughters, Cynthia Griffith, of Demorest, GA, and Mary Sadler (Jeff), of Boulder, CO; step-son, Chip Forward and step-daughter, Diane Davis, both of Baltimore, MD; many grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and sister, JoAnne Styron of Marion, VA.

He was preceded in death by a son, Andrew Griffith.

Memorials may be made to CarePartners Hospice, P.O. Box 25338, Asheville, NC, 28813; or to the Maine State Troopers Assoc., 28 Meadows Rd., Augusta, ME, 04330.

Groce Funeral Home on Tunnel Rd. is assisting the family and the online memorial is available at www.grocefuneralhome.com.

Published by Asheville Citizen-Times on Jul. 27, 2015.
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Funeral services provided by:
Groce Funeral Home - West Asheville
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9 Entries
I played football for Ralph in 1949. He was tha coach for a kids team the Sunset News. I remember Ralph picking us up in an old car a Crosley. He was a nice man. Sounds like Ralph lived a good life.
Bob Eaton
Robert Eaton
August 2, 2015
Ed and family, sorry to hear about Ralph's passing. The memories of him will always be great ones. Thoughts and prayers to each of you.
Rick Welton
August 1, 2015
Please know your family is in our thoughts and prayers. May happy memories and faith in knowing your father is with our lord bring you comfort.
Bob and Donna Madkiff
July 28, 2015
Many condolences, thoughts and prayers.
Jennylynn Balmer
July 28, 2015
Although I never met Ralph, I did know his children who I first met in 1969 and whose son, Alan, and daughter, Cynthia and I have recently reconnected. I extend my condolences to his family and friends.
judith petree
July 28, 2015
Fair winds and following seas, Ralphie! Love and miss you!
Gammy and family, all my prayers, thoughts, and love are sent your way! Xoxo
Amanda Blake Senn
July 27, 2015
Ed Griffith
July 27, 2015
Gail & Family It's hard to believe that time has passed so quickly. Ralph was one of the very best, a good friend, loyal to his family and friends, a charmer, wry, witty, wonderful. We remember so many things, like his fun with country music. At one point he collected great lines from Country music and quoted them repeatedly with great bemusement ("from the gutter to you is not up") Not many like him, and we know he will be missed by so many friends. We remember Ralph so fondly, and hope that these later years were a joy and delight for him. He was a classic!! Much love. Paul & Theresa Clark
July 27, 2015
Dear, dear Ralph -- I have so many happy memories of you throughout my life, including our visit a few years ago in Asheville. Now you are with Drew, having lived a long and loving life, filled with laughter, love and friendship. Much love to Gail and your family. I hope they know that you were adored by many.
Judith Hammerschmidt
July 27, 2015
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