Robert P “Griff” Griffin died on October 19, 2022, at the age of 94. He was born in
Waterbury, Connecticut on July 7, 1928. He was the second of nine children born to George
and Margaret (Crowe) Griffin. George worked in construction and Margaret, after her children
grew, owned a real estate agency and started a local day care center which bears her name. It
is to this large boisterous family that he owed his wit, energy, and eagerness for life, not to
mention his Irish charm.
After high school, Griff went to sea. For 3 years he was purser on a tanker carrying
Marshall Plan oil from the Middle East and South America to Europe. The world opened up to
him. Whenever he could leave the ship, he would experience as much as he could. Long days
at sea gave him time to read whatever came to hand. He knew he wanted to spend his life
reading and learning. When he returned home, he entered the University of Connecticut,
working at a variety of jobs to pay his way, and received a PhD in English Language and
Literature. He was an instructor at the Stamford branch of the University of Connecticut before
moving to Carbondale and joining the SIU English faculty, where he taught for 25 years. He
loved all literature but Shakespeare was his passion. He continued to travel as much as
possible. He spent a semester at North East Normal University, in China, and after retirement
he taught in Costa Rica, Istanbul, and, for two years, at National Chung-Kung University in
Coming back to the states, he settled in Boulder, Colorado, where he lived for 15 years.
He first found the Western landscape naked and empty, but came to love it and enjoyed
exploring the mountains and deserts. Of course, he found a book club, and made many
wonderful friends. In 2007, he returned to Carbondale to be closer to family.
In 1953, Griff married the late Evelyn Anderson. A year later, their son Mark was born;
he has been his father’s pride, joy and comfort all of his life. In 1989 he married Judith Griffin,
He is also survived by his son Mark Griffin, of Decatur, Alabama; two grandsons, Shea
Griffin and Timothy Griffin (Amber), and one granddaughter, Jessica Miles, all of Decatur,
Alabama; and two great grandsons, William and Oliver; two step-sons Michael Warshawsky
(Clare) and Jonathan Warshawsky (Shelley).
Four of his eight siblings survive: Jane Griffin of Long Island; Gerald Griffin (Linda) of
Wallingford, Connecticut; Paul Griffin (Jacqueline) of Bedford, New Hampshire; and Kathleen
Griffin of Wallingford, Connecticut. He was preceded in death by his brothers George and
Frank, and his sisters Patricia and Maura.
He is also survived by his very best friend, Joan O’Brien, who carries on at the grand
age of 96.
We would like to thank the wonderful people at Century Assisted Living whose kindness
and caring blessed the last several months of his life.
Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements. To leave a story or memory of Robert visit www.meredithfh.com