Gerald R. “Ged” “Doc”'s Story
Gerald R. Griffin PhD (“Ged” “Doc”), passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 23, 2016, after a struggle with diabetes and pneumonia. He was the husband of Jane (Buck) Griffin, his beloved wife of 58 years.
Ged was born in Reading, the son of James and Beatrice (Fitzgerald) Griffin, educated in Reading schools, graduating from Reading High School in 1950. In 1952 he was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving during the Korea Conflict in both Japan and Korea, until 1954 when he was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant. Then he made the decision that changed his life forever. He enrolled at Merrimack College night school to try out college, stayed there the next year in the day school before transferring to Northeastern University. From 1956 to 1962 he completed a bachelors degree, cum laude, and a master’s degree while a teaching assistant. Teaching was the perfect profession for Ged who loved literature, especially Nathaniel Hawthorne, and he could perform in front of a captive audience. He told wonderful stories and successfully taught, and at the same time, entertained his students. While teaching full-time, he took until 1971 to complete the work for a PhD in literature at University of Massachusetts Amherst, one of his greatest accomplishments. He and Jane were married in 1958, lived briefly in Malden, and moved to Andover 53 years ago, where they shared their home, over the years, with 11 feline companions.
Ged was charming, kind, thoughtful, loving, loyal, and very good company. His mind was full of miscellaneous information that he could pull out at any time. He told great stories. But he was best known for the smiles he brought to people’s faces when he greeted them with his joke of the day. Clerks in stores, waitresses in restaurants, friends he’d meet on the street would stop him and ask for a joke, and it always brought a laugh. As our mailman said, he was a classic.
Ged was predeceased by his parents and four siblings, Jim, Bea, Peg, and Joe, and is survived by his wife, Jane; his sister and brother-in-law, Sydney and John Butler; many nieces and nephews, grandniece and nephews; and countless friends and colleagues. He will be missed. And for Jane, he was her sunshine.
Services from the Doherty–Barile Family Funeral Home, 11 Linden St., Reading was on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, with visiting hours from 8:30 to 10 a.m., followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. in St. Agnes. Church, 186 Woburn St., Reading. Burial with Military Honors was held at Wildwood Cemetery, Wildwood St., Wilmington, immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Ged’s memory to the MSPCA Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844, for the care of cats. For directions or to send a memorial condolence, see www.barilefuneral.com or www.facebook.com/BarileFamilyFuneralHome.
Doherty–Barile Family Funeral Home, celebrating life, sharing memories, 781-944-1589.
Published on  October 31, 2016