James Donald Griffith passed away Wednesday July 15, 2020 at his residence in the Rosewood Villa Assisted Living in Bellingham, Washington. He was 90 years old.
Born in Yates Center, Kansas, Jim was the eldest in a family of twelve children. His parents were James Alonza and Opal Aleta (Megli) Griffith who lived in several small towns east of Wichita (including Virgil and Neal). Jim grew up going to country schools in Greenwood and Woodson Counties. He also learned to work hard on the neighboring farms at an early age.
At the age of 17 Jim joined the US Army Air Corps (later the Air Force}. He served twice in the Air Force and also did a tour of duty in the Navy before heading west to Everett, WA. Jim drove truck as a Teamster for several years and even continued long after retirement age to drive the courtesy car for the local Chevrolet dealership. Jim made lasting friendships wherever he worked.
On January 17, 1996 he married Patricia Bellingar and they spent several enjoyable trips going back to Kansas for family reunions. In 2013 they moved to Bellingham so they could be closer to Patricia's family. They developed many new friends and interests at the independent living facility they moved into. Especially enjoying activities involving music and bus trips to local sites. Jim loved a good argument over politics, crossword puzzles, catalog shopping in his recliner, and his TV was always on the sports channel.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Edgar, Keith and Gerald; and sisters Hazel Herold, Ruby Herman, Dorothy Gutman, and Sharon Beeman. He is survived by wife Patricia of Bellingham, WA; brothers; Leo (George} & wife Jeanette of North Newton, KS, Richard & wife Martha of Topeka, KS, and Robert & wife Susan of Scotts Bluff NE, sister; Mary Ann Thornton of Eureka, KS, brother-in-law David & wife Karen Bellingar of Bellingham, WA and many, many nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Rosewood for the care and compassion shown to Jim in the past 3+ years.
Private family graveside service will be held Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 2:00 PM at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Everett, Washington.
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