John W. Griffin obituary photo
 
In Memory of

John W. Griffin

June 13, 1929 - March 28, 2015

Obituary


Dr. John Wallace Griffin, 85, died in Port Lavaca on March 29, 2015, after a battle with disautonomia. Born on a farm near Weslaco, Texas, he was the youngest of six children born to Charles V. Griffin and Cora Hudson Griffin. He graduated from Weslaco High School, and upon graduation, joined the United States Marine Corp. He later served ten years in the United States Air Force reserve. After an honorable discharge from the Marines, he returned home to the Rio Grande Valley to run the family's dairy operation, while enrolling at what was then...

Dr. John Wallace Griffin, 85, died in Port Lavaca on March 29, 2015, after a battle with disautonomia. Born on a farm near Weslaco, Texas, he was the youngest of six children born to Charles V. Griffin and Cora Hudson Griffin. He graduated from Weslaco High School, and upon graduation, joined the United States Marine Corp. He later served ten years in the United States Air Force reserve. After an honorable discharge from the Marines, he returned home to the Rio Grande Valley to run the family's dairy operation, while enrolling at what was then Edinburgh Junior College. As a result of the G.I. Bill, John was able to transfer to Baylor University, where he majored in Chemistry and English in preparation for medical school. While there, he led the student choir as a baritone, and met Marian Ellen McCutcheon, whom he would marry in Fayette, Missouri in 1951. He graduated from Baylor University in 1950 and from Baylor College of Medicine in 1954.

After serving his internship at Hermann Hospital in Houston, John and Marian moved to Port Lavaca, where he began his 40 year career as a board certified family physician and surgeon. In Port Lavaca, John served as a Trustee of the Calhoun County Independent School District, the City of Port Lavaca Parks Board, and was the moving force behind the creation of a an indigent care program for patients could not afford medical care. Through his persistence, all the physicians in Calhoun County agreed to participate. He served as President of what was then the Victoria Calhoun and Goliad County (Tri-County) Medical Society, and attended to injured workers while serving as the plant physician at Alcoa's Point Comfort operations.

As one of the area's finest clinicians, he was known as a humane and kind listener as well as a very knowledgeable physician. Against long odds, he diagnosed a very rare case of cholera, which many of his colleagues felt was a far fetched notion. He also was successful in delivering co-joined twins. He took on the issue of head and neck injuries, assisting in the development of better protection for the head, and advocated his entire life for mandatory helmet laws for motorcyclists. A lifelong Democrat, he was active in community and civic affairs of Calhoun County and beyond. He was a strong supporter of the YMCA and the Victoria Bach Festival Association, along with his church, First United Methodist Church of Port Lavaca. He served on numerous boards and committees of the church, and was instrumental in the construction of the sanctuary which now serves the congregation he loved so deeply. Among his many pastimes were fishing, card and domino playing, golfing, music, scuba diving, bird watching and learning how to use social media.

He is survived by his wife, Marian McCutcheon Griffin, and their four children: John Griffin, Jr., a lawyer (spouse Lynn Knaupp), Jeannine Griffin, a pediatrician (spouse Paul Bunnell), Jill Griffin Stover, an artist and owner of a yarn shop (spouse Lanse Stover), and David Griffin, a lawyer (spouse Lisa Griffin). He is also survived by 11 grandchildren: Griffin Bunnell, Anna Stover, Charles Bunnell, Greg Griffin, Cora Griffin, Randy Bunnell, Clare Stover, Ruth Griffin, Sarah Griffin, Riley Bunnell, Molly Jo Griffin, and a step-grandson, Austin Watts. Finally he is survived by Abbas Shahadi (spouse Nazanin Shahdadi) and Lesley Clark (spouse Colleen Smith), who John considered as his own children.

In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in his honor can be made to First Methodist Church of Port Lavaca, the Calhoun County Humane Society, or to a non profit organization of the donor's choice. A memorial service will convene at 2:00 p.m. on Friday April 3, at First United Methodist Church in Port Lavaca.