William D. "Bill" Griffith passed away peacefully in his home in Newport Beach at the age of 92.
Bill was born on a homestead in Big Horn County, Wyo., to Clella and Russell Griffith and grew up in a small town in the northwestern part of the state. He attended the University of Wyoming, graduating with a degree in accounting. Later he obtained a master's degree in forensic science from George Washington University in Washington D.C.
After graduating from college in 1940, Bill was employed by the Ohio Oil Co. until 1942 when he entered the FBI. During his 31 years with the FBI, he served in Buffalo, N.Y., Cleveland, Mansfield, Ohio, New York, Dallas and FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C., and held such titles as special agent, assistant special agent in charge, section chief and deputy assistant director.
After his retirement from the FBI in 1973, Bill was employed by GTE (now Verizon) as security director, but later served as vice president of governmental affairs until his retirement in 1987. During this period, he represented the company as president of the California Independent Telephone Assn. in addition to administering the company’s legislative and political affairs. Bill was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Newport Beach Country Club and the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. His hobbies included duplicate bridge, golf, collecting Western ballads, reading and relishing the activities of his children and grandchildren.
Bill was preceded in death by his son, William D. Griffith Jr,. his wife of 41 years, Kathryn Brown Griffith, brother, Paul, and sister, Eulalia. He is survived by his beloved wife, Marie Hummes Griffith; four much loved stepdaughters, Jonie LaBouff (Joe), Mary Lynne Hummes, Katie Simpson (Jim), and Peggy Normandin (Jim); nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A funeral Mass for Bill will be at 10 a.m. Sept. 10, 2010, at St. John Vianney Chapel on Balboa Island. There will also be a Rosary Vigil at 7 p.m. Sept. 9, 2010 at St. John Vianney Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the William D. Griffith Scholarship Fund in Criminal Justice at University of Wyoming, Department 3197, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie WY 82071 (www.uwyo.edu/CJ/).