Kenneth D. Griffin passed away on October 20th, 2017 in Junction City. He was born on November 22nd, 1930, the only son of Elizabeth and Gerald Griffin. He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Sharon and four children. In addition, he has three surviving sisters: Micky Schneider (Jim) and Ann Mertes (Don), both of Moorhead, Minnesota, as well as Mary Ewine (Wes) of Bismarck, North Dakota. He was preceded in death by his sister Audrey Krauth (Dick).
Ken Griffin was inducted into the Army from Baker, Minnesota in the grade of Pvt. He received his commission the following year and advanced through the ranks to the grade of LTC. He retired from active military duty on 29 Feb 1972.
On October 26th, 1957 he married Sharon V. Donovan in Wakonda, SD. Of that union they had four children, Kent Griffin (Cyndi), Lisa Marcotte (Rod), Lynn Morris (Tim), and Melanie Griffin Wood. They have 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
His stateside duties were at Sioux Falls, SD; Ft Benjamin Harrison, Indiana; Washington, D.C.; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Benning, GA, Fort Sill, OK , Fort Ord, CA and Fort Riley, KS.
LTC Griffin’s overseas assignments included Korea, Hawaii, Germany, Vietnam, and Iran. In Iran, he was the Executive Officer and worked directly with the Shah. During his last overseas tour he and his family completed an extended trip around the world, spending time in London, England; Paris, France; Beirut, Lebanon; Istanbul, Turkey; New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong, China; Tokyo, Japan; and Honolulu, Hawaii prior to his last assignment at Fort Riley.
During his tour of service, he attended the Infantry School at Ft Benning, GA, the Food Service School at Fort Riley, the Adjutant General School at Ft Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, The Inspector General Course in Washington, D.C., The US Army Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg, NC, the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA and is also a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, KS.
His awards included the Meritorious Service Medal, a certificate of appreciation from General Westmoreland, the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medals, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Nation Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Staff Service Medal, lst Class and Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters.
After his retirement, Griffin was the administrator of the JTPA (Job Training Partnership Act) for 18 counties in north central Kansas. He eventually became the paymaster for the entire state of Kansas. He stayed with JTPA for over twenty years.
Ken Griffin was also greatly involved with St. Xavier’s and the Knights of Columbus. He was a member of St. Xavier’s School Board, and was president of the board for nearly twenty years, allowing him the privilege to present all 4 of his children with their high school diplomas. It was he, with several other outstanding parishioners, that began the annual auction for St. Xavier School. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 60 years. During this time he held every local position, including Grand Knight. He also held some state offices. The interior of the local Knights of Columbus Hall is named Griffin Hall in recognition of his many years of service.
Visitation will be held at the Penwell-Gabel Junction City Funeral Chapel, 203 North Washington on Tuesday the 24th of October from 6:00-8:00 P.M. Funeral services will be held at St.Xavier’s at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, the 25th.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorial contributions to be made to St. Xavier’s Catholic School, 200 N Washington
Pall Bearers will be, Killian Wood, Alexandra Wood, Tim Morris, Michelle Morris, Maria Marcotte, Brett Slater, Brett Robison
Readings; Shannon Morris and Briana Towner
Offertory: Christina Robison, Krista Wood, Kara Griffin
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