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Charles ""Charlie" Dee Griffith

August 13, 1927 May 10, 2018
Charles ""Charlie" Dee Griffith
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Obituary for Charles ""Charlie" Dee Griffith

Charles “Charlie” Griffith, of Virginia Beach, VA, passed away peacefully at the Hoy Center, Westminster- Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, May 10, 2018, at the age of 90 after a full and blessed life.

He was born August 13, 1927 in Front Royal, Virginia to Nellie Steed and Charles Harrison Griffith. He graduated from Warren County High School in 1945 and, inspired by his father’s service in World War I, enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in World War II and the Korean War. A self-described “farm boy” of the Shenandoah Valley, he traded his days of tilling soil and milking cows on his family farm for service on three U.S. Naval Vessels where he learned to weld, cut pipe, and build machinery. After his military service, he turned his new-found skills toward mechanical contracting and settled in Norfolk. Eventually, he joined with partners, the late Eddie Kavanaugh and Ed Weddle, in establishing a well-regarded firm, J.E. Weddle and Associates. The firm served the Tidewater community on a wide array of important building projects until the partners retired in concert in 1987.

Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 52 years, Janet “Ginger” Harrell Griffith. His children, from his earlier marriage to Barbara Smith Petersen, and their spouses, all of whom survive, are: Rhonda Durham and her husband, Lynn Durham, Jr., of Midland, Texas, and Charles “Chuck” Griffith, Jr. and his wife, Margie, of Alexandria, Virginia. He is also survived by step-children Scott Watson and his partner, Leslie Small, of Virginia Beach, and Melody and Doug Diehl, of Chesapeake, Virginia.

“Papa Charlie” was also blessed with fourteen grandchildren who he tutored in outdoor life, taught to play Cribbage, delighted with Back Bay Crab feasts, generously encouraged and supported, and of whom he was most proud: Trevor Durham, Caitlin Durham, Jonathan Durham, Chuck Griffith, III, Matthew Ripley, Chris Ripley, Charity Dunlap, Shippley Watson, Keith Watson, Curtis Watson, Esther Turner, Noel Hughes, Nathan Diehl, and Ethan Diehl. Mr. Griffith was further graced with twenty-one great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his brother Roger Griffith, and is survived by his brother, Sam Griffith, and his sister, Jean Borelli.

Mr. Griffith joined the Warren County Methodist Church at age 12 and most recently was a dual member of Francis Asbury United Methodist Church and Charity United Methodist Church, Virginia Beach, where he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and was a vibrant member of its community, devoted to its mission of “making Christian disciples for the transformation of the world.” During his lifetime of generous service to his churches and devotion to his faith, he also held memberships at McKendree United Methodist Church and Colonial Avenue Methodist Churches of Norfolk. He was active on behalf of numerous civic and charitable causes, notably Ducks Unlimited.

For as long as he was physically able, Mr. Griffith was particularly devoted to fishing, hunting, and golf, and, from his childhood days, bore a lifelong love for gardening. Reserved in demeanor, he enjoyed the quiet of nature and activities out-of-doors and the company of his golden retrievers. He traveled widely to enjoy snow skiing and sightseeing. But, it was his fishing and hunting adventures in Alaska, Argentina, Arkansas, Canada, and North Carolina that he cherished most. Even with the far-flung places he was blessed to visit, he often remarked that his favorite place to fish or “just be” was in Back Bay at Sandbridge where he lived for 33 years.

During his last days and years he was given dear friendship and compassionate care by the Doctors, Registered Nurses, Certified Nurses Assistants, Hospice professionals, and volunteers of Westminster-Canterbury to whom the family is deeply grateful.

A private burial service will be held on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. His grandsons will serve as pallbearers. A memorial celebration of his life and reception for family and friends will follow in Holy Trinity Chapel at Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay at 1:00 PM. Valet Parking. Arrangements are under direction of Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Great Neck Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be sent to the Francis Asbury United Methodist Building Fund, 1871 N. Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454, or the Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay Foundation Fund, 3100 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451. Condolences may be offered to the family at

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Previous Events

Celebration of Life




1:00 PM 5/22/2018 1:00:00 PM
Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay

3100 Shore Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay
3100 Shore Drive Virginia Beach 23451 VA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Westminster-Canterbury Foundation

3100 Shore Drive
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

Francis Asbury United Methodist Church

1871 N. Great Neck Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

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