Our Ministries
19 Sep

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Richard “Rick” David Griffin

October 20, 1922-September 13, 2019

Richard David Griffin, SCPO/USN Retired, was born in 1922 in Evansville, Indiana, to David and Nora Belle Griffin. He was called home to reside with his Lord and Savior on September 13, 2019.

Rick is survived by his daughter, Laura G. Pearson; granddaughter, Kristine Pearson Neff; grandson, David Pearson, his wife Desiree and their five children Nathaniel, Christian, Noah, Paul, and Faith; step-niece Christine Boubel, step-great-nephews and niece Kirk Boubel, his wife Daphne and their three children Samantha, Jordan, and John; Jennifer Przybylski (sch-bil-ski) and husband Jim and their two children Gavin and Madeline Lorraine; Jeffrey Boubel, his wife Tiffany and their three children Dawson, Shelby and Joslyn.

He is preceded in death by his parents, David and Nora Bell Griffin; sister and brother Evelyn and Charles Griffin, sister-in-law, Madelyn Boubel Koepp and brother-in-law Harold “Red” Koepp; step-nephew, Thomas R. Boubel.

Life Legacy
Richard’s mother passed when he was three years old and his family moved to Jackson, Michigan, where he enjoyed life on a farm with a natural lake, wild berries, and a library stocked with many books; it was here that he developed his love for reading. When his father could no longer provide, Richard went to live in an orphanage and with foster care families; the family was later reunited. He graduated from high school in 1940, then he enlisted in the Navy, where he served for over 30 years in aviation maintenance and recruiting. Rick said that once he joined the Navy “he found the perfect home.”

Throughout his Naval Career, Richard completed multiple tours and was never stationed on a ship. He served for 25 years in Naval Aviation, stationed on Air Force Bases and Naval Air Stations, then he served 5 years as Chief Recruiter in the San Francisco area. He retired thereafter, with the intention of staying in the area, and remained there until the sudden death of his late wife, Mary Ann, whom he met after World War II, when he was stationed in Corpus Christi and while on liberty in San Antonio. Later, they were married and had one daughter, Laura. Rick was later stationed at Hickam AFB (he served two tours here) and when he wasn’t flying, he enjoyed playing in the ocean and on the beach with Laura. Rick’s tours also include Basic Training at Great Lakes Naval Station in North Chicago, tech training at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, FL, several islands in the Pacific during World War II, Hutchison Kansas Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station (2 tours), McGuire AFB, and recruiting in San Francisco, CA until retirement. After the passing of his late wife, Rick moved to Oregon and Iowa, where he restored two old houses. He eventually moved back to San Antonio and worked in apartment maintenance. It was during this time that he met Lorraine at a cousin’s birthday party. They were married soon after and Rick officially became a “Texas citizen” after marrying two Texas women. They enjoyed celebrating their anniversary each year on St. Patrick’s Day; at their age, they said they needed “the luck of the Irish” for a successful marriage. Rick told everyone that at their first meeting, he drank champagne from her slipper; Lorraine says it was more like “he spilled beer in her sandal!” After retiring for the second time, from apartment maintenance, Rick volunteered for about a year at the Naval Service Center, near Fort Sam Houston. He then volunteered for about 17 years at the Wellness Clinic at Wilford Hall Medical Center and participated in a study of cholesterol medications. One of the things he enjoyed most was attending his grandson David’s football games and plays while he was attending Robert E. Lee High School.

Rick wanted to live until the year 2000 to witness the New Millennium and after that, he set a goal to see his great-grandsons play high school football. His prayers were answered—God blessed him with long life. The oldest great-grandson, Nathaniel, played the position of quarterback at Churchill and the second oldest, Christian, played defense at Churchill and Johnson High Schools. Great-grandpa enjoyed watching their games. Thereafter he was too
uncomfortable in stadium seating to watch his two other great-grandsons Noah and Paul play football.

After traveling to so many different places while in the Navy, Rick developed a love for and was ready to go to anywhere at any time! In fact, Rick told Lorraine she needed to retire so they could travel before they got too old and they enjoyed many journeys to the coast with family. They had many opportunities to travel in their home country and to travel abroad, though they traveled only in the United States after the events of 9-11. Their journeys include travel to Italy, Greece, the British Isles, an Alaskan Cruise, and the Great Northwest and Canada; they also traveled to many of Rick’s annual Navy VRs Squadron Reunions held in the United States.

Rick converted to Catholicism in 1990 and joined the Men’s Club, where he helped on various projects and was one of the first teams who prepared the “world famous” sausage and chicken. He also enjoyed serving as a hospitality minister for several years and four years of membership on Hank and Flo Tripp’s Silver Stars team, where he and Lorraine helped prepare and serve meals and provide the evening’s entertainment one evening a month—Rick and Hank are both remembered for their rendition of “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” as Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias. He also volunteered with Mobile Loaves & Fishes for approximately 8 years, from inception and joined three teams, including delivery, preparation, and egg boiling.

At just shy of 97 years, Rick had a long, blessed life, and was a blessing to all his family and friends.

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Father Tony Vilano will officiate. Interment will follow in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Mobile Loaves & Fishes, 4201 De Zavala Rd., San Antonio, Texas 78249, or a charity of your choice.