Services for Bill G. Griffith will be at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at his home church, First United Methodist. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery under the direction of Rice Funeral Service. Friends may visit at the funeral home this afternoon until 8:00, family will receive visitors from 6:00 – 8:00. Bill passed away Friday, September 21, 2012. He was 81.
Born June 24, 1931 in Newcastle, Oklahoma to Grant and Grace (Thatcher) Griffith, Bill was reared and educated in his birth community. Following his schooling, he worked for a time in the oil fields before enlisting in the Army Air Corp. When his duties were complete, Bill returned to Oklahoma and began a career at Central Oklahoma Milk Producers, which later became the Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI). His dairy farm upbringing prepared him for his positions as a fieldman and later public relations officer for AMPI. Bill produced and was the voice of a weekly radio program “Profits on the Dairy Farm.” He managed the milking parlors at state fairs and dairy shows, working five state fairs each fair season for 25 years. In the mid-1970’s he went to work for Ecolab as a farm specialist and retired in 1996.
On June 4, 1988, Bill and Cindy Opperude were married and Claremore became their home. A people-person with a remarkable memory, Bill was always ready with a story from his extension research and knowledge of history, especially World War II, the Civil War and the battles of George Custer. When the conversation called for something “lighter,” Bill could tell jokes or lots of funny stories of his own. Always interested in Native American culture, Bill collected Native American Art.
Bill’s comprehensive knowledge of the dairy industry served him well as he mentored OSU Animal Science students, many of whom relied on his expertise when preparing their theses. He was honored in 1996 with an Animal Science Award of Recognition from OSU. For relaxation, Bill loved working in the yard or reading a good book.
Bill is survived by his wife, Cindy Griffith of their Claremore home; children Annette Johnson and husband, Jeff of Sidney, OH, and Rusty Griffith of Blackgum, OK; grandchildren Grant, Kyle and Mark Johnson and Heather Whorton; great dranddaughter Serena Whorton. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Floyd, W. R. “Preach”, John and James Griffith, and his sister, Ava Chrisman.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 1615 N. Highway 88, Claremore, OK 74017, or a charity of your choice.