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US Air Force

John William Griffith

January 25, 1933 ~ July 16, 2019 (age 86)


Bill Griffith (John William Griffith III) passed away Tuesday, July 16, at Wilson County Medical Center. Bill was born January 25, 1933, to John and Anne Griffith in Houston, Texas where he spent his early years. At the age of 12, he moved to a Kansas farm where he attended school in LaFountaine.  After a year, he hitchhiked 9 miles every day to Neodesha High School. He graduated from Milby High School in Houston. He worked his way through the University of California, Berkeley.

He served in the Air Force and spent many years working in industrial sales in Houston. At the age of 50, he joined the Peace Corps to serve in Western Samoa. He then traveled extensively visiting over 70 countries. He developed an interest in oriental rugs and upon returning to the US, joined Mundy and Yazdi Oriental Rugs in Kansas City. 

Neodesha has been his home for the past 24 years during which time he was the caretaker for his father and restored his 1900’s home.  He developed an amazing circle of friends, mentored a number of young people, and shared his lovely home, plant expertise and books with the community.

Survivors include two sisters: Mary Anne Wilson of San Antonio, Texas; Sara Wallace (Rick) of Lenexa, Kansas; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

According to his wishes there will be no services. As an expression of sympathy, the family has requested that Wilson Medical Center Foundation establish the Bill Griffith Memorial to support the hospital, its programs, and services. Donations can be sent to Wilson Medical Center Foundation in care of the Bill Griffith Memorial at PO Box 360, Neodesha, KS 66757.

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