Thomas Griffin

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2008

Mr. Thomas “Gene” Griffin died Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008, at his home in Utica after a lengthy illness. He was 81.

Gene was born on the C.F. Griffin homestead, 3 1/2 miles west of Utica, on Nov. 4, 1927. He was educated at Wise Grammar School, Utica High School, Hinds Junior College at Raymond and Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee, Wis., finishing in 1951.

Gene started work in the air conditioning and heating field with Palmer A/C & Heating Co., Jackson, in April 1951. He and his wife, Faye, moved to Jackson in 1954 and lived in Jackson until 1984.

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Gene went into business with James F. Sallis in November 1959 as full partner and together operated the business under the name of McCraw-Sallis Air Conditioning Co. until April 1983 — 23 1/2 years. The company’s assets were bought by Dent Air Conditioning Co., Jackson, and Gene worked with the Dent company until November 1994, when he fully retired.

In 1984, Gene and wife Faye built a new home on his grandfather, Capt. T.M. Griffin’s, original property five miles west of Utica. This property became Griffin land in 1869.

Gene was a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) his whole life, since baptism at 11 years of age, becoming a member of Griffin Memorial Christian Church in 1938. He is currently a member of Utica Christian Church.

Gene served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1947. His hobbies included spending time in his woodworking shop and raising vegetables and fruit for his family’s enjoyment.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Charles Hudson Griffin.

Survivors include his wife, Faye B. Griffin of Utica; two sons, Thomas Eugene Griffin Jr. and wife Laura of Learned and Craig Franklin Griffin and wife Lisa of Utica; one daughter, Paula Elaine Griffin of Learned; two brothers, Murray S. Griffin of Utica and Frank Griffin of Little Rock, Ark.; five grandchildren, Jason Griffin and wife Kellie, Shelby Griffin and fiance Abe Penn, Emily Newell and husband Mark, Justin Thomas Griffin and Stefanie Campbell; and two great-grandchildren, Brock Griffin and Hudson Griffin.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Utica Christian Church with the Rev. Brad Hartzog officiating. Burial will follow at Griffin Cemetery in Utica. Visitation will be from 4 until 6 tonight at Glenwood Funeral Home in Utica and Saturday at the funeral home from noon until the service.

Pallbearers will be Jason Griffin, Justin Griffin, Brad Berryhill, Bob Berryhill, Dennis Berryhill, Tol Berryhill, Shelton Griffin and Travis Griffin.

Memorials may be made to Utica Christian Church, P.O. Box 306, Utica, MS 39175 or to Sta-Home Hospice, 883 E. River Place, Jackson, MS 39202.