William "Bill" Edward Griffin was born May 29, 1947, at the Birdno Birthing Home in Safford, Arizona. The sixth child of Robert Ernest Griffin and Lucile Jones Griffin, of Thatcher, Arizona. His brothers and sisters are Robert Ernest Griffin (Marjorie), Sherald Griffin (Joan), Sylvia Claridge (Wilford), Thomas Griffin, David Griffin (Vesta), Roberta Sue Melser (Charles), and John B. Griffin (Dalene). He attended Thatcher Public Schools from first grade through high school graduating in 1965. While attending Eastern Arizona College for four years, he enjoyed the music program. Bill graduated from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, with a degree in Business, Office and Distributive Education.
As a young child, Bill worked with his Dad for the Thatcher Schools, mowing grass, cutting trees, and as a janitor. At 16 he went to work for Orrin Ferrin at the Dairy Queen driving what was known as the "Dilly Wagon." While attending ASU, he worked for Transamerica Title and Valley National Bank. After finishing his student teaching in Safford, there were no teaching jobs available, so Bill went to work for Dudley Welker, and started Consolidated Title Agency until 1978. In 1979, he went to work for W.A. Morris Sand and Gravel as a bookkeeper and began his lifelong relationship with his Uncle Bill and Aunt Estelle Morris. With the backing of the Morris's, he and Brooks Bryce bought the Transamerica Title Agency in Safford and began Safford Title Agency which he managed until October 2007 when he sold the company to Stewart Title Agency of Phoenix. He remained with the company until he retired in 2010.
Very active in the community, he was a member of the Graham County Community College Board and musically was seen frequently as a member of the Graham County Quartet and as a soloist in the annual presentation of "The Messiah." For years he walked the stage as a performer in the many musicals produced by the college drama department such as Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, Camelot, The Man of La Mancha, You're a good man Charlie Brown, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie and most recently Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. His passion was the choirs he conducted for the community over the years and the opportunity he had to sing in many, many funerals. His love and appreciation for music was with him until the very end.
In 1987, Bill married his former "next door neighbor," and love of his life, Nancy Howard French and immediately became a family with the addition of Nancy's three children, Bonnie, CJ and Micah. In October 1991, Thomas W. "Chip" Griffin was born and he entered his most difficult but most rewarding role, that of being "Dad." Work was his life, but it provided the opportunity for him, Nancy and Chip to travel all over the United States and eventually several parts of the world. Many will remember Bill because of his little black dog "Fang", who was his constant companion for 12 years riding on the gas tank of his motorcycle.
A lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bill served a mission to The Northwestern States Mission, served in many areas of the Church and finally as a worker in the Gila Valley Arizona Temple.
Bill is preceded in death by: his parents, Robert and Lucile; his brothers, Thomas, Ernie, and Sherald. He is survived by: his wife, Nancy, of 35 years; his children, Bonnie B. Yardley (Curtis), C.J. French (Rachel), Micah C. French (Trisha), and Thomas W. Griffin "Chip"; and by twenty-four grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
He loved his family, his many friends and acquaintances throughout the years, his cabin on the mountain, and the exhilaration of life on a motorcycle, his dogs, and his abiding faith in his Savior. All in all, not a bad life.
Funeral services for Bill will be conducted Monday, November 28, 2022, at 2:00 p.m., at the Thatcher Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Bishop Jay Larson of the Thatcher Third Ward. Concluding services will follow in the Thatcher Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Sunday evening, November 27, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., at the Vining Funeral Home and Monday afternoon, November 28, 2022, fro 1:00 p.m. until 1:45 p.m., at the Thatcher Stake Center Relief Society Room of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Those who would like to attend the services via Facebook Live can join on Vining Funeral Home's Facebook page, Monday afternoon, November 28, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.(MST).