Friday, January 8, 2016
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times to plenty and times of want, Raymond G. “Froggy” Griffith made a significant impact in the lives of everyone he met. He was hardworking and fun-loving with a zest for life that was easy to see. A devoted family man, Froggy was thrilled to witness his family tree blossom to include the children and grandchildren he treasured. For years he had a thing for old convertibles, but later in life he traded in his four wheels for two. Deeply loved, Froggy will never be forgotten.
The 1930s were very much defined by the Great Depression that blanketed our country and much of the world throughout the entire decade and beyond. Because jobs became scarce, people were left to look for work whatever they could find it and countless Americans lost their homes. Despite the trials around them, John and Edna (Forney) Griffith were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their own lives as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named Raymond G. on August 12, 1936, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. He was the second of five children as he was raised in the family home alongside his older sister, Joan, and his younger siblings, Ed, Lee, and Glenna.
In many ways Raymond, or Red as his siblings sometimes called him, experienced an upbringing that was reflective of the times. It was as a teen that Sam Kimble started calling him “Froggy,” and it stuck! Because his father’s military career moved them around a bit, he attended a few different schools including schools in Vicksburg. Froggy graduated from Mendon High School in 1955. As a young man he honorably served in the United States Army.
Life became very exciting for Froggy after he met the young woman who would change the course of his life forever. Her name was Vera Smith, and they fell deeply in love. To make things easy, Froggy and Vera were married on August 12, 1961, so that he couldn’t forget his anniversary! Together they were blessed with the births of three daughters, Tina, Dawn, and Edith. Although Froggy and his wife divorced in the early seventies, they always remained friends. To support his family, he made a career first with Lee Paper Mill and later for Gibson Guitar where he spent the bulk of his career. Froggy was deeply devoted to his daughters, and he was their hero.
Throughout his life Froggy was a man of many interests. He loved old convertibles, but one car didn’t fair too well after being hit by a train. It had stalled on the tracks, and he was told that there wouldn’t be a train coming for an hour, so he walked to his brother-in-law Jim's house to have some coffee. In the middle of a conversation, Jim asked how long it was again before there would be a train went because he just heard one. During his later years, Froggy traded in his cars for two wheels and got around town on his bike. He was known for tying his bike to a tree, and more recently he was known for tying his walker to a tree! Froggy enjoyed going up to the Village Hide-A-Way every day in the afternoon, and although he gave up drinking in 2007, he still loved going to socialize with the guys and girls who worked there. They became like Froggy’s second family. Froggy was active for years and enjoyed bowling, bicycling, and playing pool and cribbage. He enjoyed listening to country music, watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, and keeping busy with crossword puzzles. Of course Froggy liked wearing frog t-shirts and also collected frogs.
Described as funny, simple, and kindhearted, Raymond “Froggy” Griffith was truly unique. He was more than willing to work hard, yet he also knew how to enjoy each day he was given as well. Life was not always easy for Froggy, but he was an honorable man with both strength and courage. Although he will be deeply missed, he will never be forgotten.
Raymond “Froggy” Griffith, of Vicksburg, died on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. Froggy’s family includes his three daughters: Tina Griffith, Dawn (Mark) Barnebee, and Edith Adams; one stepdaughter: Robin Major; eight grandchildren: Earl, Michanna, Ashley, Laura, Nicole, Robert II, Arden Jr., Larissa; 10 great grandchildren and one on the way. He is also survived by four siblings: Joan (Joe) Peoples, Ed (Dixie) Griffith, Lee (Sue) Griffith, and Glenna (Jack) Haring. A funeral service will be held on Friday, January 8, 2016, at 3 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main St, Vicksburg (269-649-1697). A visitation will be held on Friday beginning at 2 p.m. Burial at Vicksburg Cemetery. Please visit Froggy’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign his guestbook and share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make contributions to the family.