Shirley T. Griffith, 82, of Vestal, passed away unexpectedly at her home Friday, November 22, 2019. She was born on February 6th, 1937, in Vineland, NJ. To her many long-time friends, neighbors and fellow community volunteers, Shirley was a constant source of energy and enthusiasm, hope and happiness, kindness and compassion. To her entire extended family – children, grand/great grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews – she was nothing short of a force of nature. Shirley’s relentlessly optimistic, glass-half-full, can-do approach to life was instilled in her from an early age. What her humble, childhood home may have lacked in outward wealth or material possession it made up for through a profound sense of faith, respect and loyalty to the institution of family. Nothing, to her, was more sacred. As a devoted wife and mother, Shirley provided the solid emotional and logistical foundation upon which her family was built. From diapers and dishes to supermarkets and softball games, Shirley unselfishly fulfilled a dual role as the family’s Chief Encouragement Officer (CEO) as well as Director of Transportation (DOT). The majority of her professional life was devoted to the family business. Even when time, distance and the challenges of daily life made it easy to do so, she steadfastly refused to allow her connection to the extended family of Tobolskis and Griffiths in her hometown of Vineland, NJ, to wane. Shirley’s seemingly limitless energy and enthusiasm was evident in nearly everything, and everyone, she encountered. Among the nearest and dearest to her heart was her longtime affiliation as an active member and volunteer for the West Corners Lions/Lioness Club and the Western Broome Chapter of Meals on Wheels. Some of the most enduring friendships of her life were forged over decades of work and countless social gatherings with her fellow volunteers and club members, whom she regarded as family. Yet, despite her many close, personal friendships, there was nothing Shirley cherished more than her 48 years of marital partnership with her late husband and soulmate, Herbert. L. Griffith, Jr. Together, Herb and Shirley collected a lifetime of memories through their shared love of travel and adventure. They planned and enjoyed countless journeys throughout the U.S. and abroad, including a memorable cross-country bicycle trip they completed together in 1998. Later in life, they were fortunate enough to be able to spend time together in their newly adopted hometown of Myrtle Beach, SC, where they loved capturing and displaying photographs of the local coastal scene. Shirley will be sorely missed by her family, friends and everyone who knew her. However, we can all take solace in knowing that after 15 years, she has finally been reunited with the love of her life. Herb and Shirley Griffith may now rest in peace together, forever. Shirley is predeceased by her parents, Steven H. and Felicina P. Tobolski, her father and mother-in-law, Herbert L. and Florence Griffith, her husband Herbert L. Griffith, Jr.; brothers-in-law Gordon Parham, Rico Bracaliello, and Tony Pipitone. She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Steven and Joan Tobolski, Vineland, NJ; sister Catherine Pipitone, Rosenhayn, NJ; sister Phylis Bracaliello, Vineland, NJ; brother and sister-in-law Edward and Darlene Tobolski, Wrentham, MA ; sister-in-law Carol (Gordon) Parham, Clearwater, FL; six children, Cindy (Charlie) Saam, Vestal; Patti (Chuck) Gricus, Narraganset, RI; Steve (Karen) Griffith, Honeoye Falls, NY; Herb (Cathy Page) Griffith, Binghamton; Mike (Corrina) Griffith, Huntsville, AL and Fumiko (Lee) Wainwright, Monessen, PA; seventeen grandchildren Dan (Cait) Lord, Jeff (Ellis McGee) Lord, Nick (Chelsea Foster) Lord, Alex (Caroline) Gricus, Amanda (Bryan Powlen) Gricus, Kristie (Nick) Crognale, Kailey (Moe) Mongeon, Alex (Jenny Corriea) Griffith, Kelsey (Zach) Moore, Keggen Griffith, Jessica (Steve) Hondorf, Jason Grifith, Ricky Green and Kent (Colae) Green; six great grandchildren Cecilia and Lyla Moore, Isabella and Alessia Crognale, Charles Jude Hondorf and Abigail Rosengrant.
Funeral Services will be held Wednesday at 1 pm from the Allen Memorial Home, 511-513 East Main Street, Endicott. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, Endicott. The family will receive friends at the Allen Memorial Home Wednesday from 11 am until Service time at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, our family would ask you to please consider donations to Meals on Wheels of Western Broome, 705 West Main Street #4, Endicott, NY 13760 or the American Cancer Society, 31 Adams Avenue, Endicott, NY 13760.