The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Obituaries

April 20, 2013

William Griffith

MANASSAS, VA. — GRIFFITH – William “Bill” passed away peacefully Saturday, April 13, 2013, at his home in Manassas, Va., after a long illness. Born Jan. 9, 1926, in Jerome. He was predeceased by parents, Della and William Griffith Sr.; sister Mary Sheets; and first wife, Gilmer Greene Griffith. Survived by loving wife of 43 years, Betty (Miller) Griffith, formerly of Somerset; their eight children and spouses, Jean Bergman, Joe and Bonnie Griffith, Scott and Barbara Miller, Charlene Miller, Barry and Jackie Miller, Harold and Diane Miller, Michele Miller and Gene and Kelley Griffith; and special niece, Lora Sheets. He also was a “parent” to a grandson, Adam Miller; and granddaughter, Melissa Miller. Bill had 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Bill attended Conemaugh Township High School, Davidsville, and in 1942, he joined the U.S. Navy to do his part for the war effort. He served on the USS Montpelier and USS North Carolina during the war and saw action aboard these ships in the Pacific theater. Bill met his first wife, Gilmer Dana Greene, in the Navy and they were married on Veterans Day, 1945. Bill wanted to spend more time with his growing family, so he switched from the Navy to the Army in 1950 and was sent to Korea, where he served until the end of the Korean War in 1953. Bill and his family were stationed in Fort Meade, Md.; Fort Benning, Ga.; twice in Fort Hood, Texas; Karlsruhe, Manheim; and Bamberg, Germany, during his 22-year career in the service. Bill retired from the Army in 1963, having attained the rank of Command Sergeant Major. After his retirement from the Army, Bill worked for Wheeler Bros. in Somerset, and opened many stores for them all over the U.S. While working at Wheeler Bros., he met Betty Miller, and they were married in November 1969. Bill loved Betty’s children as his own, and together, they had one son, Gene Griffith. Bill and Betty moved their family to Laurel, Md., in 1971, and then in 1973, they moved to Manassas, Va., where Bill worked for Northern Virginia Supply. Bill retired in 1991 and enjoyed his retirement life in Manassas. Bill was a wise and wonderful man with a sharp and witty mind, the best a father and husband could be, and a kind caring person. He lived a happy, full and rich life, being forever in love with both of his wives and family members. No matter what life brought him, he never lost his joy, his smile, his laugh or his sense of humor. Family was always at the center of Bill’s life and his memory will remain and always be a centerpiece in the lives of his wife, children and their families. Contributions may be made to help disabled veterans at www.dav.org. Select “Donate” and then “Memorial and Honorary Gifts” in honor of William Griffith.

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