Old Lyme — Ralph Gardner Griffin, 85, died at home in Old Lyme early on the morning of Wednesday, June 13, 2018, after a long illness. He is survived by his loving and caring wife of 62 years, Arminta “Mimi” Griffin; his brother, David Griffin his sister-in-law, Barbara, of Venice, Florida; and his sisterin-law, Elizabeth Willoughby of Grafton, Ontario, Canada. Ralph leaves his four children, Deborah Griffin of Clinton, Daniel Griffin and wife, Gretchen, of Old Lyme, Denise Griffin of Vermontville, N.Y. and Rebecca Griffin of Old Lyme; all of whom he was fortunate enough to be in the presence of in the waning hours of his life.
Ralph was a proud grandparent to Joseph Griffin and wife, Christine, of Hochspeyer, Germany; Elizabeth Griffin and her husband, Ben Rosenthal, of Windemere, Fla., William Collum of Haikou City, Hainan, China, Megan Griffin of State College, Pa., David Collum of Philadelphia, Pa., Maya Baxter and her husband, Ben Baxter, of West Palm Beach, Fla., and Daniel Marinelli of Old Lyme. He was also the proud great-grandfather of Henry Lebron Rosenthal and George Olajuwan Rosenthal, children of Elizabeth and Griffin and Ben Rosenthal.
He attended Dartmouth College and the University of Buffalo and served two years in the Army. He worked in corporate finance for 32 years at Chesebrough Ponds and Health Tex. Ralph was an active volunteer during his retirement, having served as chairman of SCORE, Cappella Cantorum, board member of the Old Lyme Visiting Nurses, deacon emeritus of the Old Lyme Congregational Church, past board member of the Old Lyme Planning Commission, district coordinator for AARP Income Tax Services and board member of Mount Saint John School in Deep River. He was honored to have been named Citizen of the Year for the Town of Old Lyme in 1995.
In the latter years of his life, Ralph enjoyed his grandchildren and also his many leisure activities. Ralph was fortunate and able to meet his goal of retirement at age 55. He traveled the world, loved his boats, was an avid fisherman, scalloper— anything to do with the sea. He enjoyed numerous deepsea fishing trips with friends. He loved music, singing, teaching and playing bridge and enjoyed watching sports, especially the Boston Celtics and UConn women’s basketball. He also loved, perhaps most of all, to sit peacefully on his back porch on summer days, quietly looking out at the woods beyond, or to float serenely for hours in the lakes of Connecticut, followed by a hearty meal in the presence of family.
He was a man who imparted many lessons to all his loved ones, but his greatest legacy was that he was always there, and we, his family, all those who love him, wish to give him one last thanks for that.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and Cappella Cantorum.
A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.