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Norman Richard ‘Dick’ Griffin

Oct. 29, 1917-June 9, 2013

Posted: June 26, 2013 - 2:57pm
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Norman Richard Griffin (Dick) passed away peacefully in Homer on Sunday, June 9, 2013. He was born Oct. 29, 1917, to Herbert and Susan Griffin in Rochester, N.Y. He was educated in New York State and then worked in an Adirondack logging camp until his entry into the U.S. Army in 1938. Dick was an artillery instructor until his discharge in 1944. He was always most proud of his days in the U.S. Army. At nearly 40 years of age he received the highest mark ever achieved on the New York equivalency test in the state and was awarded scholarships to college. He was also promoted from maintenance to supervisor for a large section of New York state’s highway department.

In 1967, Dick pulled up roots and drove the Alaska highway to start a new
adventure in Fairbanks. At the age of 50 he and his family homesteaded 160 acres at 49.5 mile Elliot Highway north of Fairbanks, along the trans-Alaska pipeline haul road, and even named the town after his beloved wife, Joy. He loved building a log home and raising his kids along with wonderful gardens and having a farm out in the untamed arctic wilderness.

In 1979, it was time to move to warmer weather so he and his wife Joy moved to beautiful Homer, which was truly paradise to them. They again started from nothing and built another beautiful home. Dick so loved working in his workshop building boats and beautiful furniture (he built his last boat at age 94). If someone even mentioned liking something that he made he would immediately say, “It’s yours!” Dick was never idle and was constantly reading and learning and also writing. At the age of 93 he was honored as a Lifelong Learner at the Homer Public Library by Friends of the Homer Library. He lived his Christian faith by serving others and helping whenever he saw a need. He had a passion for life and was an amazing man and will be missed, but not forgotten. He was buried with full military honors.

Dick is preceded in death by his wives, Ellen Jebbett and Mary Joy Van Allen; his son, John, and brothers George and Earnest Griffin and Frank Delaney. 

He is survived by son, Herb Griffin, and daughter, Mary Ellen Molnar; stepson, David Bigelow, and stepdaughter, Dawn Lincoln; sisters, Muriel Mullen and Dorothy Gregory, and stepbrother Thomas Delaney, along with several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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