William L. “Bill” Griffin, age 94, passed away peacefully on August 31, 2019 at Rome Memorial Hospital.
Bill was born in Rome on April 14, 1925. He was the youngest son of the late James E. and Edith Jenny Griffin. He graduated from Rome Free Academy in 1943. At the age of 18, he joined the United States Navy, attained the rank of Aviation Ordnance man Second Class, and saw action as a gunner aboard a Naval PBY amphibious aircraft. He was honorably discharged in March of 1946. Upon completion of his tour of duty, Bill returned to work full time at the family business, started in 1924 by his father and the late Charles A. Jenny. Varflex Corporation was Bill’s lifelong passion and he served as Executive Vice President until his death. On August 16, 1947, Bill married the love of his life, Shirley Williams. They spent the next 70 years together until her passing in March of 2018.
Bill enjoyed wintering in Florida with Shirley and their two schnauzers, Sammy and Sarah. He was a skeet shooter for more than 70 years as well as a gun enthusiast and avid outdoorsman. He was a former member of the Ilion Fish & Game Club, Clinton Fish & Game Club, Norwich Fish & Game Club, Dewitt Fish & Game Club, and the Lost Pond Fish & Game Club. He was an active member of the Fish Creek Club in Constableville, beginning in 1967 and served as a Board member for over 30 years. He was a member of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and a member and strong supporter of the National Rifle Association.
Bill is survived by his brothers and sisters in law, Warren and Gail Williams and Jim and Barbara Williams; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Jerry and Robert Griffin and a sister, Dorothy G. Griffin.
The family would like to thank his caregivers of the last four years, Lynn Swist, Karen Mortis, Laura Whitman, Paula Browka, Sue Burgdorf, Bee Marvel, Renee and Thaw Wah, Wendy Kennedy, and Angus Coons.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church, with military honors to follow. Interment will be held at a later date at St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Relatives and friends may call at the Barry Funeral Home, 807 W. Chestnut Street, on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to St. Paul’s Church or a charity of one’s choosing located in Rome.
Please offer online condolences at: www.BarryFuneralHome.com.