John Joseph Griffin passed away peacefully with his daughters by his side on July 24, 2020 at the age of 74 after a brief, but courageous, battle with cancer. He was the son of the late Lawrence F. “Duke” and Kathleen “Kay” (Parsons) Griffin.
John was a committed and loving father to Amanda Griffin and her husband John Hillis of Millis, Megan Bickford and her husband Dale of Millis, and Jeffrey Dow and his wife Lisa of Waterloo, Iowa. He was a proud Papa to Dylan, Evan, Reese, Luke, and Ayla, and a step-grandfather to Megan and Courtney. John joins his sister Janet Simpson in Heaven, and leaves behind his brother Lawrence Griffin and his wife Elizabeth, brother Kevin Griffin and his wife Debra, brother Paul Griffin and his wife Lorraine, and brother-in-law James. He also leaves behind many beloved nieces and nephews and many lifelong friends and colleagues.
Originally from Dorchester (OFD), John was raised in Roslindale with his three brothers (thick as thieves) and his treasured little sister. He was an original member of the Healy Field Card Sharks with his best friends, who continued to play cards for over 60 years. He was a 1963 graduate of Catholic Memorial High School, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1965.
After time in Mansfield, and Buffalo, NY, John and his family settled in Millis in 1986. John became an outspoken and beloved member of the community. Whether sitting courtside at his grandson’s basketball game, or waiting in line for coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, John constantly engaged those around him. He cared for the people of his community and wanted to know them. He treated everyone with compassion and generosity.
At work, John was no different. John had a lengthy career at Prudential, being one of the first employees ever to work at the Prudential Tower in Boston, starting in the mailroom and working his way up to Vice President over 39 years. After a try at retirement in 2002, John returned to work in 2004 for what was supposed to be a 6 month stint as a consultant for Bankers Life and Casualty. In typical John fashion, he stayed with Bankers for 15 years, retiring for a second time on his 74th birthday in December 2019. John is remembered fondly by his colleagues as being an ethical, honest, influential and caring person, who worked tirelessly to not only do his job, but to deeply care for each and every person he came in contact with.
John’s affection for his family was second to none. He adored his grandchildren, and was ever present cheering along (loudly) on the sidelines of their sports games, or in the audience at shows and recitals. John cherished every life event. He always picked out the perfect individualized birthday cakes and cards to commemorate and celebrate the family he loved. He equally held dear the many cards and pictures he received from his children and grandchildren.
Papa loved traditions with his grandkids--his shared love for Notre Dame and long talks on car rides with Dylan, “Bagel Boy Fridays” with Evan, shows with Luke on the couch, forehead kisses for Reese, donuts and “tuckers” for all and most recently, falling completely in love with his newest Grandchild born in November, Ayla. Group hugs, Thanksgiving Eve, Griffin Family Christmas and Cookouts, breakfast for dinner, and any time with his family were just some of his favorite things. His three children were his pride and joy and his cherished relationship with them meant more to him than words can even describe. Whatever title he had-- Son, Brother, Uncle, Dad, Papa or Friend--John always found a way to help the people that he cared about. He served as a mentor, friend, advisor, and protector for his entire family. The stories that have been shared by those that loved him are truly endless.
John had a deep respect for history, the military and his Irish and Newfoundland heritage, and a love for Boston sports, the news, and all of his “shows.” He enjoyed his many trips to Foxwoods, and regular meetings at Café on the Common for breakfast (make 'em loose!) with “The Brothers.” He will be remembered fondly for his humor, generosity, the compassion he showed to others, and the exuberance he shared always with those lucky enough to have known him.
All are invited to a burial service for John on Thursday, July 30, 2020, 11:00 AM at Prospect Hill Cemetery, Auburn Rd., Millis. Face coverings will be required and we ask that everyone maintain a safe distance.
John loved and supported his Town of Millis. In John’s memory, please consider making a donation to the Millis Food Pantry, 142 Exchange St, Millis, MA 02054 or to Friends of Millis Council on Aging, 900 Main St, Millis, MA 02054.
As John would say--Go Patriots, Go Bruins, Go Celtics, and Go Red Sox. God Bless America. Semper Fi.