WALTER AUSTIN GRIFFITH, SR.
July 1, 1927-JANUARY 23, 2019
WALTER AUSTIN GRIFFITH, SR, of New Port Richey, FL, passed away at 91 years young. He is survived by his children: Pamela (Roger) Montano, Walter Austin Griffith, Jr, Mark P. (Tiffany) Griffith, Sr.-all of New Port Richey, FL and Kathleen C. Myers of Hammond, IN. Additionally, he is survived by his grandchildren: Walter Austin Griffith, III (Dingman’s Ferry, Pennsylvania); Adam J. Hardy (Lafayette, IN); Rachel (Freddie) DiPietro (Port Richey, FL), Jason M. Myers (Hammond, IN); Mark P. Griffith, Jr. (New Port Richey, FL) and Timothy J. Myers (Hammond, IN) and 7 great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 51 years: Phyllis A. Griffith, grandsons: Kevin J. Hardy, Jr. and Eric P. Griffith; and son-in-law, James C. Myers. He is also preceded in death by his parents: William A. and Camella Griffith and was the last child left from his original family with sisters: Willadean and Mary; and brothers: Howard, Eugene and Cecil Griffith.
Walter attended Dora High School and then enlisted in the US Navy for tours in WWII and Korea and served on the USS New York. Among his duties on the USS New York was that of an air traffic controller for landing planes on that aircraft carrier. After completing his service with the US Navy, Walter returned to his home town of Dora, Alabama. He then made the decision to seek steady, high paying work in the booming auto and steel industry in Northwest Indiana, where he met the love of his life, beautiful Phyllis.
Walter and Phyllis married in 1954 and began to make and raise a family. They settled in a small town called Griffith and spent the rest of their life together in their home there until Walter retired early after 28 years of service to US Steel-Gary works. He was a computer operator in the payroll department there and a proud union member of United Steelworkers of America. He was an active and retired member of the US Steel Good Fellow Club, where he served briefly on the Board in the Clearwater, FL branch as Secretary. Additionally, Walter held a brief second job with Indiana Division of Family/Children in their data entry department for payroll while his children were little.
Walter and Phyllis were active members of First Baptist Church, Hammond from 1968-1985. They participated in the “Couples Class” taught first by Pastor C.W. Fisk and then Pastor Roy Moffitt.
In 1985, Walter and Phyllis found their retirement home in New Port Richey where he enjoyed all of his retirement years until the Lord called him home. Walter and Phyllis were active members of Bible Baptist Church in New Port Richey from 1985 to present. Walter sang with the church choir for 20 years and read chapters to the congregation every Sunday morning for Sunday school, before the weekly Sunday morning service.
Each year, regardless of what life stage, Walter and Phyllis enjoyed their tradition of several road trips a year to return to his original home and visit the family he dearly loves in the Dora and Sumiton areas of Alabama. This tradition continued all the way through ringing in the 2019 New Year with his nieces and their families who he loved so dearly.
A Memorial Service in celebration of Walter’s life will be held at Bible Baptist Church, 6628 Cecelia Drive, New Port Richey, FL on Monday, January 28, 2019. Visitation is from 1pm-2pm. Services for Walter will begin at 2pm. Services will be officiated by Pastor Matt Stidham, with Eulogy and Memorial following by his son, Pastor Walter Austin Griffith, Jr. At the conclusion of this service, Walter will be flown home to his final resting place at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Schererville, Indiana, next to his beloved wife, Phyllis.
Funeral services at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, 8178 Cline Avenue, Schererville, IN will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019. Visitation will be from 10am-12Noon. Service will begin at 12noon with interment immediately following with US Military Honors. Services will be officiated by Pastor Roy Moffitt, with Eulogy and Memorial following by his son, Pastor Walter Austin Griffith, Jr. and daughter Kathleen C. Myers.
What a blessing we’ve had to know, love and learn from Walter for his 91 young years. He will be sorely missed here on earth and he is now in heaven with the Lord and a reunion of souls with his beloved Phyllis and his family preceding him that he loved so dearly.
Date: Monday, January 28, 2019
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm