Remembering Jerry Mac Griffis
(August 9, 1949 to November 22, 2011)
Jerry Griffis was a big ol’ Texas boy and one of my friends and Lackland classmates. He was a lot of fun and the two of us got along a lot better than you would expect a NYC guy and a Texas guy to. He was a sensitive and caring person too. In our last days at Lackland, after graduation and before Vietnam, we had to get shots before we could ship out. Five or six of us went to the medical facility at the same time on a cold gray day. When we got inside, the steam was on full blast and it was overbearingly hot. We got our inoculations and went outside in the cold to return to our rooms. Whereupon I felt I was going to pass out, dropped to the cement steps, and stuck my head between my legs to get some blood rushing to my head. Everyone noticed this of course and they all stopped and sat with me, with Jerry putting his arm around my shoulder until I recovered and we all walked back to our dorm rooms. I’ve never forgotten what he did. When we got to Cam Ranh Bay in January of 1970, Jerry and I had KP duty on our first overnight there, eventually resting our heads on a table and talking about home. A few months later, when he was to go before the board for promotion to SGT E-5, he stopped into the orderly room looking starched, ironed, shined, spit-polished, and very military but I could tell he was anxious. I then dramatically reached over to my phone, lifted the receiver, pretended to press an imaginary intercom button, looked toward Jerry and intoned into the phone: “Helen, get me Central Casting right away!” Everybody laughed (even though what I said didn’t even make much sense), Jerry relaxed, and he subsequently had no problem getting promoted — and both leading and inspiring the soldiers he worked with in Vietnam.
Jerry died in a motor vehicle accident in 2011. As his loving family members so movingly express, his presence will always be remembered. His loss was a sad one for his family and for all of us who knew and never forgot him. Jerry, rest in peace.
Submitted by Steve Dragovich, Company Clerk, 981st, 70/71
Jerry Mac Griffis – Obituaries – The Fort Stockton Pioneer
Jerry Mac Griffis
Posted Nov 30, 2011
Jerry Mac Griffis
Fort Davis, Texas
In loving memory of Jerry Mac Griffis. Born August 9th, 1949 in Brady Texas. Died November 22nd, 2011 in Payson, Utah.
Proceeded in death by his parents, John and Clara Griffis. He is survived by his two children: Laura Griffis-Potter and husband Pat of Sandy, OR. and John Allen Griffis II of San Marcos, Tx. Three grandchildren: Mac, Lilly Belle, and Lil’ Griff Potter of Sandy, Or.
One brother: Johnny Griffis and wife Lola Kay of Alpine, Tx.
Two sisters: Sharon Griffis Coody and husband Joe of Pecos, Tx.
Beverly Griffis Hathorn and husband Doug of Pecos, Tx. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews and many, many dear friends.
He loyally and honorably served his country in the Vietnam War from
January 10th, 1970- November 16th, 1971. Service & Burial Hillcrest Cemetery in Ft. Davis, Texas Saturday, December 3rd 2011 at 11:00 a.m. with a gathering to follow at Pam and Buster Mills home.
Officiant- Oscar Medley Acknowledgement- Laura and John wish to express their sincere thanks for all the prayers, support, flowers and other expressions of love during this time of bereavement. Dad was always a great provider- so great that he gave us his all without the need for us to ever ask for it. He was a man of integrity and devotion. A man who understood a hard day’s work. He worked his entire life to take care and provide for his family.
He served his country and defended our freedoms with tremendous courage, honor, devotion and loyalty. He is a true Hero. His core accomplishment has always been John and I. Our Dad poured vast amounts of love and energy into our lives everyday. He always held our hands in his- and helped us navigate and discover life and the world around us. He pushed us when needed, stood next us when needed and carried us when we needed it most. He was so strong, so loyal and so steadfast in ALL he did. He was a man of few words, and when he spoke- all listened because we knew it was well worth listening too. Dad worshiped at the feet of honesty, honor, loyalty and integrity. People talk of these values, but Dad LIVED them and embraced them. The many awards/medals and accolades that he received during his lifetime for his dedication, hard work, loyalty to family and friends and the RESPECT that we all have for him are a testimony to this. Dad always soldiered on bravely, no matter the circumstances. He was more concerned about the people he loved than any discomfort or pain he may have been in. To many of us he was a very kind person and was always there to help. He never wanted to be acknowledged for anything he did. When he helped, he simply helped.
His grandkids were one of his greatest joys in recent years. He knew that LOVE to them was spelled T.I.M.E….and quality time is what he gave them. He spent every second he could building a deep bond that will always stay with them. They will always remember their special times and love from Grandpa Tex. He was bigger than life, tougher than nails, stubborn and hardheaded. It made us all love him that much more. As a beloved son, father, brother, uncle, friend, veteran, cousin and amazing grandfather, he leaves us with many memories, stories and an honorable legacy. Always remember him and everything he shared with us. We will carry on our Father’s Legacy and keep him with us always. In His Grip- Laura Griffis-Potter & John Allen Griffis II