Calvin Thomas “Tom” Griffith, born May 30, 1931, passed peacefully surrounded by his loved ones on September 30, 2019 in Athens, Georgia. He was predeceased by parents Malcolm and Ruby Lee Cain Griffith; brothers Carlton and Lamar. Mr. Griffith is survived by his loving and ever-patient wife, Mimi Griffith, after 65 years of marriage. “Pops” also leaves his legacy to his son Mike (and his spouse, Victoria) with children Clayton, Chase, and Austin--spouse, Halee--(and their mother, Ginger); his son Brian (and his spouse, Cathy) with children Robert--spouse, Meg--and Tyler; his son Steve; his son Chris (and his spouse, Allyson) with children Lauren and Will; his brother Cecil; Two great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews also survive him.
Mr. Griffith was a Yeomen Third Class, serving in the United States Navy beginning in May 1950. He was Honorably Discharged in March 1954. In 1951 Mr. Griffith, Member of Ye Royal Order of “Blue Nose”, served on the USS LST 980 crossing the Arctic Circle on June 17, 1951.
A true Athenian, Tom graduated from Athens High and attended the University of Georgia where he became a highly successful business entrepreneur. From delivering groceries on his bicycle in his early childhood to being an original founder of Golden Pantry Food Stores, Inc. in 1965. Recognized by his peers by becoming President/Founder of the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores and President/Chairman of the National Association of Convenience Stores and became the First Southeast convenience store inductee in the Food Industry Half of Fame. Heavily interested in the political arena he served on the board of the Business Council of Georgia, served as Chairman of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, served as a Board Member of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, served as the President of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, appointed Lieutenant Colonel, Aide De Camp, Governor’s Staff by Governor Roy G. Barnes, and participated on multiple civic charities and organizations. Mr. Griffith was awarded the Key to the City of Athens, Georgia by Mayor Nancy Denson on the 50th anniversary of Golden Pantry Food Stores. An avid golfer and gin player, his proceeds will be missed by ALL.
The family will receive friends and well-wishers between 5:30pm and 7:30pm on Thursday, October 3 at Lord and Stephens West (1211 Jimmy Daniel Rd, Bogart, GA 30622). A celebration service will be held at 11:00am on Friday, October 4th at Athens First United Methodist Church (327 North Lumpkin St, Athens, GA 30601).
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you send a donation to Extra Special People (E.S.P.): Extra Special People, Inc.- 189 VFW Dr, Watkinsville, GA 30677 or online at extraspecialpeople.kindful.com
Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, WEST, Watkinsville, GA, is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com
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