Donald E. Griffin, banker active in downtown activities - The Buffalo News
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Donald E. Griffin, banker active in downtown activities

Aug. 26, 1942 – Sept. 16, 2013

Donald E. Griffin, a retired banker who was a big supporter of downtown Buffalo and its cultural activities, died Monday under hospice care in his Amherst home after a short illness. He was 71.

A former executive at the old Buffalo Savings Bank, Mr. Griffin for years was active as a volunteer with the Taste of Buffalo, Shea’s Performing Arts Center and other downtown cultural activities.

Known for his sense of humor, he formerly owned and operated a downtown bar-restaurant, the Griff Inn on Mohawk Street, from 1985 until 1990.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Canisius High School and later attended banking classes at Brown University and the Colorado School of Bank Marketing.

Mr. Griffin worked at Buffalo Savings Bank from 1961 until 1989, starting out as a teller and working his way through the ranks to the position of assistant treasurer.

Mr. Griffin spent much of his career working on promotions and marketing for the bank.

As part of that role, he served as first vice president of the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, was a director of the Taste of Buffalo for five years and also served as a loaned executive for the United Way campaign.

In 1982, he won the Silver Marquee award for volunteer activities at Shea’s.

He was a former member of the Greater Buffalo Advertising Club.

He spent the last 12 years of his career working for Follett Corp., the company that runs the University at Buffalo’s bookstore.

He retired in 2008.

Mr. Griffin and his wife of 32 years, the former Rosanne Kiel, enjoyed spending time with children and grandchildren at their cottage in Long Beach, Ont., where Mr. Griffin also enjoyed boating and gardening.

The couple also spent much time in St. Pete Beach, Fla., during the winter months.

Mr. Griffin is also survived by three daughters, Debbie Fitzpatrick, Sue Greenan and Patti Evans; a son, Donald E. Jr.; and two brothers, Richard and Peter.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Pius X Catholic Church, 1700 North French Road, Getzville.

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