October 1, 2011

“Greg Griffith Remembered for Ability to Lead” by Walt Frank – Altoona Mirror Article

The following article was published in the Altoona Mirror on August 28, 2011:

“Greg Griffith fought a spirited battle and never let a dreaded disease get him down.
Griffith, 50, of Hollidaysburg died Friday after a 19-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
See obituary on Page A9.

“Greg Griffith never considered himself a victim. You never heard from his lips, ‘why me?’ He was never a victim, he was a victor, that cancer never took away his spirit,” longtime friend Dave Cadle of Williamsburg said. “He fought every obstacle square on. At every turn he met it square on. You never knew he was sick.”  Other friends said Griffith will be remembered for his courageous fight.

“He was so well loved by so many people. That will be part of his legacy and just how he fought that disease. He never gave up and had a positive attitude throughout the entire thing,” Tom Schneider of Martinsburg said. “He never complained, he was just so courageous. You knew he was sick but he never complained.”

“His legacy will be the way in which he battled through this entire illness and how open he was in sharing it with the people,” said Booker Moore of Hollidaysburg.

The personable Griffith, who was a faculty member of Penn State in the business outreach department, was a people person.

“He was a great unifier of people. It was no mistake he was a point guard in basketball in high school and college and a leadoff hitter in softball,” Cadle said. “One of his best traits was to lead, and he did it by unifying. He had a great knack of bringing people together.”

Moore called Griffith a connector.

“He was always making connections between one group of people and another group and worked hard to make them feel like they were part of the larger group,” Moore said. “He made everyone feel included and feel special.”
Brent Ottaway of Hollidaysburg said Griffith was an inspiration.

“My wife and children were inspired by Greg the last 19 months, how he fought so courageously and publicly. We learned so much from him about faith and courage and maintaining a sense of humor up until the end,” Ottaway said.
Blair County President Judge Jolene G. Kopriva called Griffith a great communicator.

“He was able to see the needs of others and meet their needs. That allowed him to connect well,” Kopriva said. “He knew how to build people up. I never saw him be negative with anyone.”

Griffith used his illness to help others and was the founder of Griff’s Run and Gun “Fund a Cure” dinner and tournament for pancreatic cancer.

“He spent a lot of time with people who also had this disease trying to help them. You wouldn’t know that he was the one who had the illness,” Moore said.

“He wanted a cure for this disease so others wouldn’t have to go through it,” Schneider said. “He loved the Lord and the illness brought him a lot closer to God. Spiritually, he had really grown. I will miss him.”

The Greg and Cathy Griffith Family Foundation was recently created to raise additional money for pancreatic cancer research.

Friends will be received from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday at The Good Funeral Home Inc. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, Hollidaysburg, Father Clement Gardner officiating.”