William (Griff) Griffith
Ten days ago on that fateful Monday, April 5th, 2010, a good man, William Griffith went to work as he always did and died tragically in the Montcoal mine explosion. He was only 54 years of age.
“Bobby” as he was affectionately known by his family was born William Ildon Griffith, the precious son of Mary Lee McMillion Griffith of Glen Rogers. The second of six children, he was born at Glen Rogers on September 12, 1955. His father, James Kelly Griffith Sr., preceded him in death.
A lifelong resident of Glen Rogers, Bobby graduated from Glen Rogers High School, Class of 1974. Upon graduation, he entered the mining industry. “Griff” as he was christened by his mining buddies began his career with Ranger Fuel, he would later work for Maben Energy and has been with Massey Energy since 1992. A continuous mine operator, Bobby had 35 years in the industry.
In 1977 Bobby married Marlene Nipper, they would have celebrated 33 years of marriage this coming April 30th. Bobby and Marlene were a great team. They loved to do everything together. He taught Marlene to hunt, (Bobby was the deer man, Marlene was sharp on those wild turkeys.) Marlene recalls, “Bobby was an awesome hunter.” They fished together, rode four-wheelers and enjoyed cruising in their 1967 maroon colored Camaro. They would go to car shows and often place in the competition. To this union was born a daughter, Deborah Lynn and a son, William James. The proud “PaPaw” of Caleb Ildon and Aubrey Jane, he and Marlene loved to spend time with their children and grandchildren. Their son, “Billy” has a fiancé, Erica who has joined the family. This past Easter Sunday, Bobby and Marlene “hung out together” all day. It was a beautiful day, a day that and could have gone forever. If time could have only stood still….
Left to cherish his memory are Bobby’s brothers and sisters, James Kelly Griffith Jr. and his wife Donna and Michael Dewayne Griffith and his wife China, all of Glen Rogers, Douglas Mark Griffith and his wife Cindi of Dry Creek, Maria Claudette Hall of Glen Rogers and Joyce Lynn Acord of Bolt. Friday a week ago we buried Joyce’s beloved husband, Carl “Pee Wee Acord who perished with Bobby. A large extended family survives, among them Marlene’s parents, Robert James Nipper and his wife Mabelene and her mother, Pearl Mayhorn; many neighbors; co-workers and friends.
This Friday, April 16th, at 2 p.m. we will remember the life of this good man with a Service of Remembrance at the Melton Mortuary Chapel. Pastor Jon Chresong will be officiating. Family members and friends will serve as pallbearers. Bobby will then be taken to the Allen Cemetery at Bolt and laid to rest next his father a coal miner for 38 years. The family will receive friends from noon until the hour of the service. And so he will “Rest High on That High Mountain” where “a thousand winds will blow, there will be diamond glints of snow, sunlight on ripened grain and the gentle autumn’s rain.”
If Love could have only saved you, you never would have died.
Condolences may be sent to the family’s guestbook at www.meltonmortuary.com
Arrangements by Melton Mortuary, Beckley.