William "Bill" Riggs Griffin was born October 21, 1926 to Ray and Lenora Roundy Griffin in Escalante, Utah and passed away at the age of 93 on November 5, 2019 in Price. Bill married Dawn Peterson on December 12, 1947 in the Manti Temple. They had six children: Nicki (Evan) Excell, Washington City; Boyd (Trudi) Griffin, Cleveland; Randy (Lesa) Griffin, St. George, Patrice (Steve) Eyre, Sandy; Bryan (Sue) Griffin, Richfield; and Jeanette (Doug) Braithwaite, Sunset. Bill is survived by all of his children; his sister, Eva Dean Liston; 45 grandchildren, 73 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dawn; his parents; Ray and Lenora, William Griffin (a grandson in infancy) and his siblings Claron, Melba, Pole, Alof and Lynn.
Dad loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and supported them in anything they wanted to pursue. He and Mom drove all over the country to watch their kids sing and perform, play ball of all kinds, run in races, participate in pageants or attend baptisms, weddings and missionary farewells and homecomings. They also had their kids love to "come home" to Escalante—kids came from near and far to "hang out" with Grandma and Grandpa. The older grandkids remember getting to work at the Frosty Shop. The younger grandkids enjoyed the "house out the lane" where they got to play ping pong, help Grandpa in the garden, swing to the sky in the tire swings, play dress-up in the prom gowns, and ride in the old yellow pickup to see Grandma Great! Dad is also famous for telling the "coyote" story to the little ones just before bedtime, complete with suspenseful sound effects!
The boys have very fond memories of spending many seasons of hunting in the ol’ tent, fixing taters and onions on the griddle and singing around a camp fire and we all remember the fun card games we shared.
Dad was a barber by trade, getting his barber license shortly after he and Mom married, then became quite an entrepreneur to make a living and raise six children in his home town of Escalante. He learned to mix cement and lay brick while working on the Glen Canyon Dam in the 60’s, and then worked at the local saw mill for close to 20 years operating a fork lift. Later, he helped Mom full-time in the Frosty Shop and was proud of his title "head garbage boy and potato peeler!"
Dad served in the US Navy at the young age of 18, leaving his high school sweetheart behind to serve his country in World War II. He was assigned to the USS Louisville and stayed on that battleship most of his 18 months of service. He returned home to find his sweetheart waiting for him and didn’t take long to propose to her.
Dad and Mom loved to entertain and from the time their kids were old enough to sit at the piano, on a drum stool or hold a guitar, they started to learn to play and perform. Everyone could play at least one instrument and Dad could play them all—piano, organ, guitar, banjo, accordion and sing—man could he sing. He could croon with the best of the greats—ask anyone.
We celebrate Dad’s life, as he lived his life exemplified as a loving and devoted husband, supportive and compassionate father and grandfather and to so many, a lifetime neighbor and friend.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. in the Richfield 1st Chapel, where friends may call from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Burial will be in the Escalante Cemetery at 3:00 p.m. with military honors by the Escalante American Legion Post #0114. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com
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