Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sad News

Donald Edward Griffith
The Illinois Valley has lost another of the silent pillars of the community, the unsung heroes who step up when there’s work to be done and stick to it until the job is finished.
Don Griffith passed into the hands of the Great Architect with his boots on, on the morning of August 17, 2013 after nearly 82 years on Earth and 58 years of marriage. His work here is done.
Survived by his much loved wife, Hazel Pate Griffith; his children and their spouses, Ruth de Jauregui, Karen and Robert Blaettler, Donna Thompson, and Edward and Joni Griffith; grandchildren, James Erin and Courtney de Jauregui, Lofeeya Darden, Terrence Cheeseboro, Thomas and Karen Blaettler, Krystal and Walter Hulsey, Brian Griffith, Becky Griffith, and Bruce Griffith; great-grandchildren, Avellana Jolie de Jauregui, Dominiq Hulsey, Rayna Hulsey, and Khloe Hulsey; his brother and his wife, Kenneth and Dioney Griffith; and numerous other family members, dear friends, and brothers in Masonry.
Don went on ahead to join his parents Edward Carter Griffiths and Clara Oaks Griffiths Blanchard, brother Ralph “Teddy” Griffith, stepfather Jack Blanchard, and great-granddaughter Joselyn Hulsey.
Born in the original Rexford, Montana, a town now under Lake Koocanusa, Don moved all over the Pacific Northwest with his parents and brothers as a child until his family settled in Point Arena, California. He graduated from Point Arena Joint Union High School in 1949.
Don was a Korean War Veteran, having spent 1952 to 1954 in the Army.
As a young man, he worked in the woods and lumber mills in California and Oregon. While working in Oregon, he met and married Hazel Ione Pate in Brookings, Oregon, in 1955.
Don worked for CalTRANS for 33 years in Point Arena, San Diego, Santa Maria and retired from District 7, Los Angeles, CA. Having retired at midnight, January 16, 1994, he didn’t miss the Northridge earthquake on January 17 at 4:31 a.m., but he got to stay home and take care of his family and house in Downey instead of going out to work on the damaged freeways.
He retired to Cave Junction, Oregon, where he was an active member of the community.
A 43-year Master Mason, Don was the Worshipful Master of Belt Masonic Lodge #18 twice and was the current Treasurer. He was a recipient of the Hiram Award. He also chaired the annual Crab Feed, the Bikes for Books program at Evergreen Elementary School, and the Annual Labor Day Breakfast at Jubilee Park in Cave Junction.
Don was on the Board of Directors of the Kerby Union High School Commemorative Park, the Medford Gun Club, and the Pacific International Trapshooting Association’s Hall of Fame.
He was the President of the Retired Public Employees Association of California, Chapter #102 of Grants Pass, Oregon.
He was also a member of the NRA and the Amateur Trapshooting Association.
An avid trapshooter, Don received his 50,000 target certificate at the PITA Grand Pacific Trapshoot in Evergreen, Washington, in July 2013.
Above all, Don was a dedicated family man, who loved his wife and family with all his heart. He will be missed by all who love him dearly.
A Masonic Memorial was held on September 25, 2013, at the Belt Building in Kerby, Oregon.
Donations in Don’s memory may be made to the Shriner’s Transportation Fund/Emergency Transportation Fund, Attn: Margaret Bryan, 2425 Stockton Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95817 or to the Belt Masonic Lodge #18 Scholarship Fund, PO Box 3091, Kerby, OR 97531.

Friday, August 16, 2013

West Sound Warriors

Well, I'm an empty nester already.

Yes, my youngest went off to play Junior Hockey in Washington. Wow.

Nose to the grindstone now, no more part-time working at writing because hockey is freaking EXPENSIVE!!

Speaking of, those articles are calling me...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Farewell, my friend, you were taken from your family and friends too soon.

For Chano:
My heart burns with pain, knowing that I can't be there with the family at this sad time. It hurts so much, knowing that Chano was taken long before his time.

Let me tell you what Chano was to our family. We lived next door and Chano and Shirley took us under their wings. We spent holidays and celebrations with our lovely neighbors. I have family, but they live hours away and I couldn't always be there for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, Easter or birthdays. But to Chano and Shirley, we were the little family next door and they adopted us.

Chano was a real man. He took all the young people under his wing, and he showed my youngest son how a real man lives. Taking care of and loving his family, not running the streets and acting a fool. Family was everything to Chano and he treated my son like family. I will forever be grateful for his influence on my boy, and the other fine young men and women that he helped bring up.

And not just my son. My daughter also saw how a real man treats his family -- with love and respect. He was always ready to give a hand, whether it was taking a sink apart to fish her friend's grill out of the trap, or give us a jump when I left the headlights on. Again.

Chano was one of those real men who influence all those around him, not by flaunting money or power, but by being the strong family man.

I believe that we all belong to the Great Spirit, to God, and Chano has only stepped from our plane of existence and on into the next. Energy doesn't disappear. The spirit doesn't disappear. He has only abandoned the mortal shell that ties us to this earth.

And now that Chano has his wings, he can spread them and fly wherever all the family is, birth, blood, and adopted, whether in Texas or Oregon or West Sacramento, he is still with us. He is still watching over his family, his children, and all the rest of us.

His essence remains with his beloved Shirley and his children, and his memory remains with us all.

His mortal shell is laid to rest, but his spirit has been set free.

Let me say, thank you Chano, for all that you've done for us all.

Fly free my friend.