July 15, 1935 – Sept. 15, 2017
Walter Melvin Griggs Jr., a funeral director for more than 35 years, died Sept. 15 in Buffalo General Medical Center after a lengthy illness. He was 82.
Born in Cumberland, Va., the third of 13 children, he attended high school there and came to Buffalo to join brothers and sisters here when he was 19.
Mr. Griggs worked at Bethlehem Steel Corp., then prepared cars at Simonize Bill’s Garage and Kenmore Motors. After serving for two years in the Army, he attended Syracuse University and the Simmons School of Mortuary Science in Syracuse.
He served an internship in New York City and worked there until 1966, when he returned to Buffalo. He worked as a traffic managers at REA Express and Penn Central Railroad and served at local funeral homes until 1978, when he opened the Walter M. Griggs Jr. Funeral Home at 2524 Main St. He continued working until a few years ago.
He enjoyed travel, visiting states all across America and many places in Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Middle East, including the Holy Land.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, the former Lena M. Gordon; a son, Walter III; six sisters, Rosa, Sallie Mae Dubose, Lucy Jackson, Sue Sith, Frances Rose and Nancy; two brothers, David and Lewis; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at noon Friday, Sept. 22 in Greater Refuge Temple of Christ, 943 Jefferson Ave.