Donald Russell Griffin “Don”, age 82, of Oxford, passed away Thursday, June 25, 2015. He was born November 11 1932, in Covington County, Alabama to the late Grover Cleveland and Lera Lorene Powell Griffin, the ninth of 11 children.
After graduating high school, he joined the United States Air Force as an airplane mechanic. He married his high school sweetheart, Lois Jean Grimes, in 1952. They soon became proud parents of Jerry, Kathryn and Rebecca. After leaving the Air Force, Don attended Pensacola Junior College to obtain his electrical engineering certification and began a career with Chemstrand Chemicals, Monsanto Corporation in Pensacola, Florida and Headland, Alabama. Don and Lios moved to Atlanta to continue his electrical education at Georgia Tech, eventually settling in Covington, where he was employed with Hercules. Don loved to “fix things” which lead to his and Lois’ decision to build their own business, Electric Motor Service. One of the highlights of his career was when he developed a water pump valve that has been used commercially throughout the Southeast. They also purchased their dream farm on Gum Creek Road in Oxford. After Lois’ passing, Don semi-retired, selling Electric Motor Service, and built his beloved “Griffin Hills Farm” home where he began his cattle business in 1984.
Don married the former Jo Ann Osborne in 1989, gaining four step-children, Dennis, Terry, Toni and Jeff. Don and JoAnn resided at Griffin Hills Farm and changed the direction of his cattle business to Purebred Hereford Cattle. Don received many awards for his “cows” including Piedmont Cattlemen’s Association “Cattleman of the Year” in 2001 and 2012. Don was a great advocate for the youth program of the Cattlemen’s Association and worked with many of the FFA youth, allowing them to use the farm and learn the responsibility of cattle. He also received the Outstanding Service Award from the Newton County FFA Alumni 2004-2005 and in 2008 and 2012, the Southeast Empire Show, held at the Gwinnett County Fair, awarded one of his bulls the Reserve Champion Herford Bull of the year. Don was preceded in death by his wife, Lois Jean Grimes Griffin, parents, seven siblings, one son-in-law, and four nieces and nephews.
Don is survived by his wife, Jo Ann Griffin; son, Jerry Griffin (Teresa); daughters, Kathryn Morgan, Becky Clemens (Jon); brother, Harold Griffin (Linda); sisters, Elsie Gulsby, Shirley Wiggins; step-sons, Dennis Jones (Myra), Jeff Lamb (Robin); step-daughters, Terry Coggin, Toni Eason; seven grandchildren; six step-grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; four step great-grandchildren; 24 nieces and nephews; special friends, Dr. Mark Dennis, Dale Dylong, and the Piedmont Cattlemen’s Association.
Funeral Services for Mr. Griffin will be held at the Chapel of Caldwell & Cowan, 1215 Access Road, in Covington, Sunday, June 28, 2015, 2 p.m. A graveside service will follow in Lawnwood Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Saturday, June 27, from 6-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Don’s memory to the Piedmont Cattlemen’s Association Youth Program, c/of Abigail Coggin, 1615 River Cove Road, Social Circle, GA 30025.
Visit caldwellandcowan.com to place online condolences or call 770-786-7062.