Joseph Griffin
Joseph Griffin

Obituary of Joseph Lawrence Griffin

Joe was an extraordinary man and father. He was born in Philadelphia in 1935, and raised in a Catholic orphanage until his late teens. He rarely spoke of his childhood. However, he did make a point of telling his children he made the best of his upbringing by earning straight A’s in the nuns’ classes and singing in the Christmas pageants. His early love of music would follow him the rest of his life. He was blessed with a beautiful voice, and if you spent any time with Joe, chances are you were treated to him belting out a Sinatra tune or two. Joe joined the Army at 17, and years later following his tour of duty, he met and married Margaret Deatherage in 1961. They had two children in Tacoma, Trina and Darren. Despite having never known his own father, Joe was a one-in-a-million dad. He spent countless hours with his kids outdoors – playing ball, fishing, and hiking. He and Darren would play for hours together on the basketball court, sometimes until it was too dark to see the hoop. He loved playing hide-and-seek in the park and chasing his grandchildren, nieces and nephews around while they screamed with laughter. All of the kids knew that when “Uncle Larry” was around, they were in for a great time. His four grandchildren, Anthony, Ryan, Kevin and Drew, will miss him dearly. At the end of his life, Joe’s friends blessed his son and daughter with stories of a man who was more wonderful than they had imagined. Joe loved spending time helping friends and neighbors he considered his family. He once told us that while he wasn’t fortunate enough to know his own biological family growing up, he was lucky enough to get to pick his own. He truly loved his friends, and the love and support they showed him in his last days was especially appreciated. It was very apparent he was loved as well. Trina and Darren will be forever grateful to these friends that made our dad feel a part of their own families. Always a vigorous and active man, his struggle with cancer was long and hard fought. Hospice was an integral part of making his wish of passing away at home a reality. In lieu of flowers, we suggest rememberances in Joe’s honor be made to the Franciscan Hospice in Tacoma, Washington.
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A Memorial Tree was planted for Joseph
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Edwards Memorial | University Place
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