Jerry Griffith

July 8, 1919 — March 8, 2022


March 10, 2022 - 12:18 PM

Jerry Griffith

Jerry L. Griffith of Lawrence passed away on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. 

He was born on July 8, 1919, in Collinsville, Okla., to John A. Griffith and Elizabeth Driskell Griffith. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and his brother Dr. John Griffith and sisters Celeste Griffith and Margaret Evans. The family moved to Iola in 1922 and Jerry graduated from Iola High School in 1936. 

He attended Iola Junior College for two years, Stetson University in Florida for one year and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1942. He married Dorothy Fournier Durand of Hoisington in 1942 and they were married for 57 years at the time of death in 1999.

After completing 1½ years of law school at the University of Kansas, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and soon after transferred to the U.S. Air Force. After Officers Candidate School, he served as Group Intelligence Officer in the 361st Fighter Group, Eighth Air force and attained the rank of lieutenant. He served as Group Intelligence Officer, combat.

He was awarded 6 Bronze Battle Participation Stars and European Africa Middle Eastern Service Ribbon. He was stationed near Cambridge, England and in Belgium and France. He and a portion of his unit were assigned to the European Continent during the Battle of Bulge. 

Upon his discharge after three years, he’d attained the rank of captain and returned to Lawrence to complete his law degree. He later was appointed  a Doctor of Law Degree.

He and Dorothy settled in Hoisington, where he practiced law for over forty years. He was the Hoisington city attorney for 30 years, the assistant Barton County attorney for 4 years, the attorney for Hoisington National Bank and the attorney for Clara Barton Hospital.

He was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1979, sponsored by Senator Robert Dole. 

He is survived by his daughter, Rochelle McKown of Lawrence (Joel McKown, deceased), son, Robert Griffith (partner Eve Neugebauer) of Raymore, Mo., grandson, Justin Griffith (Elizabeth) of Mequon, Wisc., granddaughter, Lindsay D’Agostino (Michael) of Leawood, and great-grandchildren, George and Penny Griffith and Lucy and Rose D’Agostino. He leaves behind five nephews and one niece. 

He enjoyed sailing, hunting, fishing, raising Arabian horses, crosswords, Jayhawk basketball, woodturning, and playing Scrabble. He was a witty and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and will be greatly missed by his family.

Celebration of Life and inurnment will be in Hoisington, Kansas at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made in Jerry’s name to Clara Barton Hospital, 250 W 9th St., Hoisington, KS, 67544 and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.

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