Deacon James Patrick Griffiths
Deacon James Patrick Griffiths, 85, Hibbing passed away, Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at home with his family by his side. He was born January 21, 1934, in Hibbing to Roy A. and Margaret (Cummings) Griffiths. He attended Assumption School and Hibbing High School. He was united in the Sacrament of Marriage to Dorothy Sanders at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and together they raised five children.
Following his “Permanent Diaconate Ordination” for the Diocese of Duluth on November 26, 1995, Jim was assigned to serve at St. Leo’s Parish until it closed, and then to Blessed Sacrament and Immaculate Conception Parishes. Along with his diaconal duties, he was active in several outreach programs including; past Board President for Parish Neighborhood Renewal, Spiritual director for Cursuillo retreats, Befrienders, Engaged Couples Weekends, St. Leo’s choir and was requested to sing for many funerals and weddings. Many times, Jim said that he felt “privileged and blessed” for the opportunity to share his faith with his community and the residents at Guardian Angels as well, while he was chaplain there. Jim experienced a heartbreaking moment when he realized he had to retire due to “THE LONG GOOD-BYE.” Alzheimer’s had made its brutal appearance. Even though their minds cannot always keep up with their bodies, their hearts do. Amazingly, through it all, Jim’s unwavering nature remained peaceful and loving.
Jim was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Operating Engineers Local 49, and held a private pilot’s license. He was employed by Snyder Mining Co., and several construction companies. He also worked for Federal Electric Corp., the U.S. Air Force on the DEW (Distant Early Warning) line in Pt. Barrow, Alaska, and for IT&T in Italy on the European Transatlantic Communication Systems. He coordinated and taught the first Diesel Mechanics Program at Hibbing Area Tech. He owned and operated Griffiths Diesel Repair.
The youngest of 10 children, he shared many fond memories while growing up on the family farm in Little Swan. Jim was a loving family man with a strong work ethic along with a witty and delightful sense of humor. He enjoyed hunting, flying, traveling and family gatherings. He had an appreciation for all kinds of music, Irish, classical, the old hymns, along with sacred choral arrangements. Most of all he enjoyed following his grandchildren as they embraced their endeavors in music and sports and on through their high school and college graduations.
Jim is survived by his wife, Dorothy, children; Thomas (Kimberly) Griffiths, San Tan Valley, AZ, Erin (Bob) Koch, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Mary (Tim) Galliford, L’Anse, MI, brother; Bryan, sister, Esther McKenzie, 10 grandchildren; Shawn (Denise Schweim) Griffiths, Kerry (Eric) Olson, Heather (Bob) Johnson, Corinn (Dr. Nathan) Tiwari, Patrick (Adrienn) Griffiths, Shannon (Chrystal) Griffiths, Lindsay (Brian) Hughes, Bradley (Jennifer) Galliford, Matthew (Clara) Galliford, and Megan Galliford, 23 Great-grandchildren, sister-in-law, Gladys Griffiths, many friends and a large extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two sons; James Edward and Daniel Kelly, grandson, Dustin Edward, four sisters; Mary Margaret Duviver, Eleanore Lehman, Julia Schlicht, and Patricia Previtz, and three brothers, Roy, John, and Edward Griffiths.
Funeral services for Jim will be 11:00 am, Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Hibbing. Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral Mass at the church on Saturday. Jim’s family would like to express a sincere thank you to Fr. Gabriel Waweru, Dr’s, Mark Wagner and Jeffrey Copeman for their years of guidance and wonderful care along with Fairview Range Hospice for their outstanding and compassionate care over the past few weeks. The Dougherty Funeral Home of Hibbing and the many prayer groups that prayed for Jim over the last decade. A private interment will be at a later date. Arrangements are with the Dougherty Funeral Home of Hibbing.