5/21/2004 A GOOD MAN PASSES: Griffin remembered for postiveness, friendship
By DEANNA PAWLOWSKI/Daily Sun Staff
Former Corsicana mayor, Corsicana Daily Sun publisher and Tiger football fan
Wilson J. Griffin died Wednesday at age 74.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Robbie; two sons, Davey and Sandy
Griffin of Bryan; and Dana and Karen Griffin of Corsicana; and four
grandchildren, Garrison and Logan of Bryan and Nathan and Gracie of Corsicana.
He is also survived by brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Helen Griffin of
Griffin was employed by the Corsicana Daily Sun for 49 and one-half years, in
"I worked for Wilson while he was general manager and publisher. We all
respected Wilson for his knowledge of the newspaper industry, his dedication to
his job, and his dedication to publishing a quality community newspaper," Daily
Sun publisher Gary Connor said.
"For 50 years, Wilson Griffin was the Corsicana Daily Sun in the eyes of most
readers. No one personality will ever represent the Corsicana Daily Sun in the
minds of our readers more than Wilson. No one knew the history of the Daily Sun
or the community better than Wilson.
"How many individuals leave the legacy of having worked at any business from an
entry level position to the very top, then serve their community as mayor? Only
a very, very few individuals and Wilson is at the top of that list.
"On behalf of the Daily Sun family, I want to extend our sympathy to all of
Wilson's family," Connor added. "You are all in our prayers at this time of
Griffin served as mayor of Corsicana for four terms, ending in May 2001. During
that time, he had opportunity to work closely with many city employees,
including city engineer Connie Standridge, now serving as interim city manager.
"We are so saddened by the loss," Standridge said. "Wilson was an excellent
mayor. He had a huge sense of community, and was a supporter of Corsicana. He
was an active supporter, and will truly be missed. He was a really good man."
Another city employee, Sharla Allen of the Corsicana Parks and Recreation
Department, said Griffin was great to work with, as well as kind to her
"It is with great sadness that I learned of the loss of Mayor Wilson Griffin,"
Allen said. "What a gentle man! When I think of him, I think of the saying that
'He who influences the thought of his time, influences the thought of all the
times that follow.'
"Mayor Griffin was a true community leader, and served as an example to us all.
His work with the City of Corsicana will long be remembered. I personally shall
never forget his thoughtfulness and kindness. We at the Corsicana Parks and
Recreation Department feel the loss and want to extend our heartfelt sympathy to
Devoted to his town, Griffin tried to make the city a better place by serving as
chairman of the Salvation Army board several years, as a member of the Kiwanis
club, and was active in "Turn Around Corsicana," an effort to stamp out drug use
and sales in the community.
He was also a devoted football fan.
"He was the number one Tiger fan in town," said Donnie Denbow of C.I.S.D. "He
attended all the Tiger games for many years, and all the booster club programs.
Before and after his boys played football, he used his accounting acumen to
handle the finances of the booster club. He gave good advice, and helped the
club follow state guidelines ... Many hours were devoted to the Tigers.
"He sold football programs down on the track," Denbow said. "He did everything
he could to support the schools and athletic programs, especially the football
"There was no more Christian-centered individual than Wilson Griffin. I have
never known him to say anything negative about anyone. He has always looked for
the positive in every situation."
Griffin had been in Corsicana a long time, and attended high school with fellow
First Baptist Church member, Don Tekell. Tekell's son Craig and Griffin's son
Dana are close friends and golf buddies.
"Every Saturday morning, we had breakfast together at Roy's Cafe, and have for
years," Don Tekell said. "We have coffee together every day at 2:30, and used to
go to all the football games together. Dana would drive us, and we'd all pile in
the big Suburban.
"He was a wonderful Christian man with very high principles ... never heard him
say a bad word, and he was on the right side of every issue."
Joe G. Sims and wife, Peggy, are also good friends, and fellow Tiger fans.
"He and I have been close a long time, and he was like a brother to me," Joe G.
Sims said. "We have been pals a long time. I think a whole lot of him.
"Our families used to vacation together when the kids were small, and we also
attended the football games together. We played dominoes.
"There is not a finer man than Wilson Griffin. He is quite a community worker --
honest as the day is long. If he was your pal -- he was your pal forever."
Bill Roberts met Wilson Griffin at First Baptist, and has had a close friendship
with him several years.
"We're domino buddies -- we've been playing a couple of years. Wilson really
liked to play," Roberts said. "We met every Wednesday afternoon at the Senior
Activity Center to play 42.
"He is the finest person you could imagine ... a good friend, a good old boy,
easygoing ... I knew he would go to bat for me."
Griffin was a member of First Baptist Church for many, many years. He served as
a deacon for 40 years, was a Sunday School Department director many years for
young, median and senior adult Sunday School classes, and served on the
education committee, personnel committee, and was the treasurer of the church
for 30 years. B.F. Risinger, Jr. was his pastor for the past 25 years.
"He was as faithful and steadfast as anybody I've ever known in his
responsibilities to the church and the Lord's work," Risinger said. "Every
Sunday morning, he was in his place and taking care of his responsibilities --
and he had a sweet spirit, and did it because he wanted to.
"He loved people -- it didn't matter who they were."
Funeral services for Wilson J. Griffin will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at First
Baptist Church, with Rev. B.F. Risinger, Jr. and Rev. O.E. Permenter presiding.
Deanna Pawlowski may be contacted via e-mail at
- Wilson was a Senior at Corsicana High School, class of
- Added to www.findagrave.com
Corsicana Daily Sun
Wilson J. Griffin
Wilson J. Griffin, 74, of
Corsicana passed away Wednesday, May 19, 2004, in
There will be family at Corley
Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. today.
Services will be 1 p.m.
Saturday at First Baptist Church with the Rev. B.F.
Risinger Jr. and the Rev. O.E. Permenter officiating.
Interment will follow at
Pallbearers will be Jeff Berry,
Craig Tekell, Bill Roberts, Jerry Ashcraft, Rex Peddy
and Truett Lewis. Honorary pallbearers will be Joe Sims,
Monty Trimble, Wayne Rose, Bill Lassiter, Don Lake,
Norman Gilcrease, Don Tekell, Joe Bob Tekell, George
Baum, Neal Crawford and deacons of First Baptist Church.
Mr. Griffin was born April 11,
1930, in Roswell, N.M. He was the former mayor of
Corsicana and former publisher of the Corsicana Daily
He was preceded in death by his
parents, Virgil and Eunice Griffin; and brother, Virgil
W. Griffin Jr.
Survivors include his wife of
50 years, Robbie Griffin of Corsicana; son and
daughter-in-law, Davey and Sandy Griffin, and grandsons,
Garrison and Logan, all of Bryan; son and
daughter-in-law, Dana and Karen Griffin, and
grandchildren, Nathan and Gracie, all of Corsicana; and
brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Helen Griffin of
Arrangements by Corley Funeral
Corsicana Daily Sun
Wilson J. Griffin, 74, of Corsicana passed away
Wednesday, May 19, 2004, in Corsicana.
Services will be 1 p.m. today at First Baptist Church
with the Rev. B.F. Risinger Jr. and the Rev. O.E.
Permenter officiating. Interment will follow at
Pallbearers will be Jeff Berry, Craig Tekell, Bill
Roberts, Jerry Ashcraft, Rex Peddy and Truett Lewis.
Honorary pallbearers will be Joe Sims, Monty Trimble,
Wayne Rose, Bill Lassiter, Don Lake, Norman Gilcrease,
Don Tekell, Joe Bob Tekell, George Baum, Neal Crawford
and deacons of First Baptist Church.
Wilson Griffin was born April 11, 1930, in Roswell, N.M.
He graduated from Corsicana High School and Navarro
College. He began working at Curington Cleaners and from
that started delivering papers for the Corsicana Daily
Sun, working up to publisher of the paper over a period
of 49 1/2 years. He was very instrumental in Turn Around
Corsicana and served as mayor for eight years. He
received the Citizen of the Year Award by the Corsicana
Chamber of Commerce and the Community Service Award by
the Corsicana Rotary Club. He received the Sam Walton
Community Leader Award. He was a charter member of the
Kiwanis Club with near perfect attendance, and received
the Layman of the Year Award two times. He served on the
board of the Warehouse Living Arts Center, Navarro
County Ambulatory Care chairman, Salvation Army board
chairman. He served on the Community Housing
Development. He was a member of the CHS Booster Club and
former member of NCARC. He served as monitor in the
school system and really enjoyed the Step on Tours of
Corsicana as he served on the tourism committee. He was
a Christian and longtime member of First Baptist Church,
and currently church treasurer, deacon board and
minister to senior adults. The 2003 Image Maker Award
was one of his most recent Chamber of Commerce awards.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Virgil and
Eunice Griffin; and brother, Virgil W. Griffin Jr.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Robbie Griffin
of Corsicana; son and daughter-in-law, Davey and Sandy
Griffin, and grandsons, Garrison and Logan, all of
Bryan; son and daughter-in-law, Dana and Karen Griffin,
and grandchildren, Nathan and Gracie, all of Corsicana;
and brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Helen Griffin
A video tribute to Wilson Griffin may be viewed on the
Internet by going to www.corleyfuneralhome.com. Select
obituaries and click on the Video Memorials link.
Arrangements by Corley Funeral Home.
Reprinted with permission of the Corsicana Daily Sun
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