William Kennedy Griffin Jr.

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 27, 2011

Dec. 30, 1926 – May 25, 2011

CENTREVILLE — Services for William Kennedy “Bill” Griffin Jr., 84, of Gloster, who went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, May 25, 2011, will be at 11 a.m. today at Thomson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Centreville with Newman Funeral Home in charge of arrangements..

A graveside service will be at 4 p.m. today at Oaklawn Cemetery in Hattiesburg under the direction of Huelitt-Winstead Funeral Home in Hattiesburg.

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Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until service time today at the church.

He was born Dec. 30, 1926, in Hattiesburg, the son of William Kennedy Griffin and Sarah Louise McInnis Griffin. Growing up in Magnolia, Mr. Griffin attended boarding school at Chamberlain Hunt Military Academy in Port Gibson and Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tenn. However, anxious to go to war, Mr. Griffin finished high school early at Hattiesburg High School. (A requirement by his mother before she would allow him to join the Navy.) Joining the Navy in 1944, Mr. Griffin was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

After the war, Mr. Griffin attended Mississippi Southern College in Hattiesburg and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn., where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Prior to marrying Jean, Bill worked as a lifeguard at Pine Hills Country Club in Gloster and as a crop duster in the Mississippi Delta. After marrying in 1954, Bill worked as a bank teller at Farmer’s Exchange Bank in Centreville, a heavy equipment salesman with Southern Equipment Sales in Jackson and a farmer in Amite County before becoming an independent oil producer in the early 1960s. In more than 50 years of oil and gas exploration, Bill drilled throughout the Gulf Coast Region as well as the Mid-Continent and Appalachian Regions. He was responsible for a number of oil and gas discoveries in these areas. Mr. Bill “had to be in the deal.”

He was a member of Thomson Memorial Presbyterian Church and served as an elder. He was a former member of the Capital City Petroleum Club and The County Club of Jackson. He was a present member of Pine Hills Country Club in Gloster.

An accomplished pilot, Mr. Griffin was an avid sports fan of football, basketball and automobile races (both Nascar and Indy.) He loved fly fishing, traveling the world, reading and history.

Mr. Griffin had a deep love for God, his family and his country. His motto was: Deus, Familia, Patria and Honos, “God, Family, Country and Honor.”

Mr. Griffin was a loving husband, grandfather and friend.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one special uncle, Jesse Andrew Griffin.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Jean Terrell Kavanay Griffin; two sons, William Kennedy Griffin III and wife, Amanda, and John Andrew Griffin and wife, Kelly, all of Jackson; two daughters, Mary Jean Griffin Lobrano and husband, Thomas, of Centreville and Anna Louise Griffin Callender and husband, Jeff, of Jackson; nine grandchildren, William Kennedy Griffin IV, Amanda Leigh Griffin, Kelsey Powell Griffin, Madeleine Kavanay Griffin, Mollie Carroll Griffin, John Andrew Griffin Jr., and Griffin Ellis Callender, all of Jackson, Farrar Marianna Faust Blackburn and husband, U.S. Army Specialist Robert Joseph Blackburn, of Fort Bragg, N.C., and Olivia Terrell Faust of Centreville; one sister, Lawrie Griffin Gulley of Brookhaven; one aunt, Polly McInnis Turner of Houston, Texas; and a number of cousins, nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be John Anderson of Guntersville, Ala., Phillip McKey of Baton Rouge, Bill Bronson of Grapevine, Texas, Joe Lipscomb and Rusty Lipscomb, both of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Mack Brown of Houston, Texas, Moore Dalferes of Gloster and U.S. Army Specialist Joe Blackburn of Fort Bragg.

Honorary pallbearers will be Joe Brian, Dr. Dick Field, Henry Darden, Buddy Lewis, M.H. Hughes, Gene Walters, Bunny Owens, Joe Spillman, Benny Bell, Willie Glenn Smith, Marion Smith, Iddo Enochs, Hinton Andrews, Charles Galloway and Doug Iverson.

Memorials may be made to Thomson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Centreville or the French Camp Academy in French Camp.