Eddie Paul “Buzz” Griffin was surrounded by his family and dog when he passed away peacefully at his home in Hailey, Idaho on February 20, 2014. He was 76 years young and had courageously fought a year long battle with brain cancer.
Buzz was born on June 20, 1937 in Dallas, Texas, to parents Hazel Pauline Christie and Robert Edgar Griffin of Frisco, Texas. His mother nicknamed him “Buzzy” after one of Franklin Roosevelt’s grandchildren. He was a great story teller and loved to tell stories of the adventures he and his older brothers had growing up in their home town of Frisco.
In 1954, at 17, Buzz enlisted in the Navy and worked as radio operator on aircraft carriers throughout the Pacific. On his return in 1958, he enrolled at North Texas State University. There, he re-met his childhood playmate, Agusta Lou “Gus” Newman of Rockdale, Texas whom he married on August 23, 1959. Gus’ grandmother lived down the street from the Griffin family and the kids would play together when Gus and her siblings visited. Gus doesn’t remember a time in her life when she didn’t know Buzz.
Buzz and Gus moved to Sacramento, California where he began a career as salesperson and sales instructor for IBM. He moved his family around the country working for IBM and Savin. In 1975, they bought a marina, restaurant and concession on Lake Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Texas. He wore many hats from chef to handy-man to campground manager to lake patrol. In 1977, they moved to southern California where he worked for Coldwell Banker and eventually the Koll Co. in Newport Beach, California as partner and President of Financial Services. He retired at age 55.
Buzz had always wanted to learn Spanish, so he and his wife bought a home in the beautiful town of San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico and lived there for two memorable years. On their return to the states, he started law school, but it was cut short due to his wife’s serious illness. After her recovery, Buzz and Gus moved back to Texas and built their dream home on Lake Jacksonville. A lifelong learner, Buzz enrolled in college once again and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Tyler in December, 2004.
In 2005, Buzz and Gus moved to Hailey, Idaho to be closer to their daughters, son-in-law, and seven grandchildren. He earned his CPA certification and enjoyed working at Elias Construction with his son-in-law, Adam Elias.
Buzz pursued many passions and never did anything half-way. He was a runner and completed two marathons. He went to auctioneer school and auctioneered for many charity events. He became a pilot, owning several small planes. An avid golfer, he was known and admired for his long elegant drives on the golf course. He even went to barista school and looked forward to making lattés and mochas for his grandkids on weekend mornings.
He will be remembered for his enthusiasm for life and his charming, witty, and inquisitive personality. He was always upbeat and positive even in the face of hardship. Generous and always full of practical advice, “let me know if I can do anything to help” and “I’m here if you need me” are things he would often say. Known as “Pappy” to his grandkids, he enjoyed their company and took great pride in their achievements. In turn, he was a great inspiration and role model for them.
Buzz is survived by his best friend and wife of 54 years, Agusta Lou (Newman) Griffin of Hailey, Idaho; his daughters Cassi Griffin and Cami Griffin Elias (Adam) of Hailey, Idaho; son John Griffin (Susan) of Sydney, Australia; and eight grandchildren: Emmi Griffin, Harry Griffin, Joe Griffin, Henry Elias, Audrey Elias, Owen Elias, Walter Elias, all of Hailey, Idaho, and Finnian Griffin of Sydney, Australia; and, brothers Robert “Bob” Griffin of Frisco, Texas and David Griffin of Dallas, Texas.
As per his wishes, there will be no memorial service, but the family hopes you will visit the Wood River Chapel website to share condolences, stories, photos and memories.
He was our rock, our light, and his passing leaves a giant hole in our lives.
Condolences may also be sent to 241 W. Walnut St., Hailey, ID 83333
Buzz was a great dog lover and towards the end of his life talked often of adopting another dog from the shelter. To that end, donations may be made in his memory to the Wood River Animal Shelter, PO Box 1496, Hailey, ID, 83333 (www.animalshelterwrv.org)