Ex-BOE member dies at 83

Published 10:29 am Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Griffith called dedicated to community


Longtime businessman and community leader, Robert “Bob” Griffith died Sunday at St. Mary’s Medical Center-Ironton Campus at the age of 83.

Griffith served as a member of the Lawrence County Board of Elections from March 1978 until March of 2010. He also served as a member of the library board at Briggs Lawrence Library from 1993 until his death.

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“Bob was always there for every meeting,” said Joe Jenkins, director of the library. “Even last week, when he wasn’t feeling his best he was still there. He was just a person you could count on.”

Reliability was something that Griffith became known for around the city of Ironton where he played a crucial role within the city’s Republican Party.

“He was a former chairman of the Lawrence County GOP,” current chair of the county GOP Party, Ray Dutey said. “He was strong for the party and worked very hard to try and benefit the people of Ironton through our party. We’ve got to try and replace him now, but he was a great man who can not be replaced easily.”

On top of his work in politics, Griffith was also instrumental in improving life for Lawrence County veterans. A veteran himself, having served in the Korean War, Griffith became the officer of the Lawrence County Veterans’ Services an organization dedicated to securing benefits and services veterans may be entitled too.

“He worked tirelessly for vets,” said Dr. Burton Payne, a member of the Ironton School Board. “He was passionate about the things he believed in and he gave 100 percent of himself to those causes.”

Griffith was also a well-established businessman in the area, owning and operating Sureway Cab Co. for years before he sold it to Bob Clearly in 2006.

“I had been trying to buy the cab company for about 10 years before he sold it to me,” Clearly said. “He always promised me that when he was finally ready to sell it, that I’d be the first person he called. He stuck to that promise.”

Honesty is another trait that Griffith became known for, as he tried to stick to everything he said, friends remembered.

“He took being an honest person very seriously,” Dutey said. “If Bob told you he was going to do something, no matter what it was, you could take it to the bank because he was going to do it.”

Griffith’s reliability and honesty made him well-liked among his peers, and was considered a friend by many. The bonds of friendship are making it a difficult time for the comrades he’s left behind.

“Everyone liked him,” Payne said. “He had a lot of friends. He was just a special person, a great guy and I truly hate to hear about his passing.”

“We hadn’t spoken in about three weeks,” Dutey said. “I was surprised and saddened to hear that Ironton lost him. I want to give my condolences to all of his family and friends.”

The funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Tracy Brammer-Monroe Funeral Home. VFW Post 8850 will perform military graveside rites, and visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral service.