Joseph L. Griffiths

Died June 30, 2019


Joseph Leonard Griffiths, 80, of Twining, formerly of Applegate, passed away Sunday, June 30, 2019, at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital in Saginaw.

Joseph was born Jan. 21, 1939, in Detroit, to the late Leonard and Catherine (Faler) Griffiths. In 1957, Joe enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served honorably in Japan, California and Okinawa as an aviation electrical mechanic until his discharge in 1966. Upon discharge, he returned stateside and worked at Michigan Bell. Joe went on to work as a carpenter, a U.S. Postal Service rural mail carrier and farmer. He enjoyed living a simple life on his farm, growing tomatoes and squash in his garden and buying, selling and trading numerous properties around the state of Michigan.

He was a devout Catholic, being a member of various Catholic churches, most recently St. Pius X Catholic Church in Hale. Joe will be remembered for his unconditional love for his children, witty sense of humor, impressive bonfires as well as the many deeds he performed for family, friends and strangers. Joe was a regular at Miss Michelle’s Diner and Big Boy for morning coffee and daily chats.

Joe will be forever remembered by his children, Joseph Griffiths Jr. of Chesterfield, Karen Griffiths-Pilger of Port Huron, James (Sal Gonzales II) of Kalamazoo and Kathleen (Allen) Pauly of Au Gres; grandchildren, Larissa Jankowski, Elizabeth (Bradley) Denslow, Rebekah (David) Cramer, Cora Pauly and Charles Pilger; honorary grandson, Judah Heath; brothers, Richard Griffiths, twin brother George (Linda) Griffiths and Thomas (Lucy) Griffiths; sister, Mary (John) Griffiths-Olkowski; Josephine Sheldon, mother of his children; numerous nieces and nephews; and many acquaintances he made along his journey of life.

In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by a brother, Daniel (Donna) Griffiths; and special friend, Carolee Dowd.

Visitation for Joe took place from 3-8 p.m. Sunday, July 7, 2019, at Buresh Funeral Home, 15 W. Maple Ridge Rd., Twining. A vigil prayer service was held Sunday at the funeral home beginning at 6:30 p.m. under the direction of Father Elias Chinzara and James Schlagel. Funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. (in state 10 a.m.) Monday, July 8, at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 3901 N. M-65, Hale. Father Elias Chinzara will officiate. Interment will be in Cedar Valley Cemetery at 2 p.m. with military honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Heifer International, Online condolences may be offered at


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