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WILLARD S. "DICK" GRIFFITH

(Apr 05, 2009)

"A good name is rather to be chosen, than great riches and having favor rather than silver or gold. Proverbs 22." WILLARD S. "DICK" GRIFFITH, 94, died April 2, 2009, at his home in Kenova, West Virginia. Born June 30, 1914, he was preceded in death by his parents, Sarah Elizabeth and Willard B. Griffith of Ceredo, West Virginia; his wife of 62 years, Ruth Larie Griffith; an infant son, Richard Chapdu Griffith; his eight siblings and their spouses, Lida Jane Griffith, Mark Griffith, Simp and Ruth Griffith, Blanche and A. J. Hardwick, Gladys and Ed Sayre, Martha and Bo Rowe, Kathleen and Bun Carpenter, and Leonta and Byron Morris; and two sons-in-law, Arnold Lee Cisco and Harold Ray Perdue. He is survived by a loving family, including three children, Carol Cisco, Dorothy Jane Perdue and Rickey W. Griffith; daughter-in-law, Sandi Griffith; eight grandchildren and their spouses, Mark, Matthew and Carrie Cisco, Jennifer and Ben Butler, Y Alexis and Bryan Daugherty, Heidi and Jorge Romero, Allana and David Oak, Ric and Shelley Massie; and 12 great-grandchildren, Jacob, Zachary, Rikki and Izack Massie, Jay-Michael Cisco, Olivia Cisco, Avery Butler, Jayden and Jackson Daugherty, Lindsey, Kennedy and Wyatt Oak; and several nieces and nephews. Dick is also survived by his church family and by many wonderful friends, tennis partners, ball game buddies, and neighbors, including Buck Lykins, Doug Kiser, Keith and Peggy Craycraft, Barb Bellomy, Fox and Debbie Heberlin, Jack Ferguson and Carl Ward. A faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Kenova for over 60 years, Dick was instrumental in the building of the C-K War Memorial Building. It was his suggestion that it be a gymnasium and library, not a monument, and he led the effort to purchase its bleachers. Every Ceredo-Kenova youth sports league and school received his financial and fan support for over 80 years, as did Marshall University. A four sport star at Ceredo-Kenova High School, where he graduated in 1932, Dick was the president of his University of Cincinnati Pharmacy School class of 1938. During World War II, he served in a field hospital with General George Patton's Third Army in France and following the war, provided medical service to German Army prisoners held in Mississippi. After his discharge from the Army in 1947, Dick returned to Kenova, where, with his partners Simp Griffith and Glen Feil, he served at Griffith & Feil Drug as a community pharmacist. Remarkable health allowed him to practice pharmacy until age 92, a span of 69 years. Also unusual was his active return to sports competition at age 60, when he rekindled his love of tennis. Often defeating opponents one-third his age, Dick became the area's "Mr. Tennis," winning 27 championships and finishing second 31 times in over 75 tournament competitions. A 2005 National Senior Olympics over 90 Singles and Doubles Gold Medalist and member of the Huntington Tennis Hall of Fame, Dick was most honored, by the naming of the Huntington Area Tennis Association's "Dick Griffith Open" and the establishment of the "Dick Griffith Scholarship." In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The First Baptist Church of Kenova Building Fund, The Greater Huntington Parks Board or the Huntington Tennis Association Dick Griffith Scholarship. Rollins Funeral Home, Kenova, is in charge of arrangements. The funeral service at 11 a.m. Tuesday and visitation Monday from 5 to 9 p.m. will both be at the First Baptist Church of Kenova at 12th & Poplar Streets.

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