Donald G. Griffin
A memorial service will take place Feb. 18 for Donald Gene Griffin, who passed away Jan. 27, 2006, at his home in Gardnerville, which he built overlooking the Carson River 41 years ago.
Don was born Feb. 12, 1927, in Yakima, Wash., to Harry Bounds and Mary Elizabeth Potter Griffin. His early school years were in Canyon Creek, Wash., and Georgetown, Calif. He moved to Sacramento, Calif., to live with his grandmother, Pearl Griffin, during his teen years. After high school he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during World War II on the USS Wasp and the USS Boston in the South Pacific Theater, followed by time in Japan and Europe. After his discharge he moved to Echo Summit to be near his parents and to pursue his love of skiing.
He married Mildred Parsons in 1954 and moved to Tahoe Valley, where he worked as a heavy equipment operator. He was involved in the development of Heavenly Valley, clearing the mountain face for Gun Barrel, as a ski instructor and in the organization of the first professional ski patrol in the area. In 1965 the family, including children, David and Becky, moved to the Carson Valley where he continued to work as a heavy equipment operator, with jobs ranging from small subdivisions and shopping centers to mining operators and major highway projects in California and Nevada. He was a 50-year member of the Operating Engineers Union.
His life revolved around his home and family and he was a loving husband and devoted father. He enjoyed fishing, camping reading, trailer trips, playing with his dogs, and watching and feeding the many quail and other birds that nested in his gardens. He especially enjoyed family gatherings and barbecues.
He is survived by his wife, Mildred “Milly” Griffin of Gardnerville; son and daughter-in-law, David Michael and Dawn Miller Griffin of Gardnerville; daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Alan Cross of Spanish Springs; grandson, Army Spc. Jonathan Miller of Fort Bliss, Texas; sister, Marie Jones of Woodstock, Vermont; brother, Gilbert Griffin of Tulsa, Okla; and numerous nieces and nephews including Charles Burcham of Reno, Nev., and Arthur Burcham of Victor, N.Y. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Barbara Allison; and two nieces.
Memorial services will begin at 11 a.m. Feb. 18 at the United Methodist Church in Gardnerville. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made in Don’s memory to a charity of choice.
Arrangements are in care of FitzHenry’s Carson Valley Funeral Home in Gardnerville.
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