WILMINGTON — Lu Ellen Witt Griffin, 93, died peacefully in her sleep Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020. She was much loved and will be greatly missed.
She was born Nov. 15, 1927, in Van Lear, Kentucky. She was the daughter of the late Len L. and Dez Witt. She was also preceded in death by her husband, John Charles Griffin; seven siblings, including brothers, James, Charles, Len and Bob, and sisters, Anna Lee, Betty Jo and Peggy; granddaughter, Lara Griffin; and infant grandson, David Irvin.
Lu Ellen graduated from Fairmont High School in Fairmont, West Virginia, in 1945 and then attended West Virginia University, where she graduated in 1949 with a B.S. Degree in Medical Technology. Lu Ellen was an excellent bridge player and loved puzzles and games.
She was a good athlete and enjoyed playing golf and bowling. She was fond of craft projects and enjoyed knitting, sewing, crocheting, cross-stitch and needlepoint. She used her craft talent to make many treasured gifts for family and friends. She was a prolific reader and fostered a love of reading with her children and grandchildren. She was an excellent cook and especially enjoyed making candy and cookies at Christmas time. She was also an avid baseball fan (Pirates!) and attended many games in person throughout her life. In her later years, she enjoyed trips to Florida for spring training.
Lu Ellen married John Charles Griffin Oct. 9, 1949. During their married life, they lived in many places due to promotions and transfers as John’s business career developed. Among the places they lived were towns in West Virginia; the northwest suburbs of Chicago; Toledo, Ohio; and Charlotte. In each new place, Lu Ellen established a warm and inviting home, became active in her new church, volunteered in the community and made lifelong friends.
Following retirement in 1984, Lu and John moved to Lake Wylie, South Carolina, and built a wonderful retirement home. They loved to play golf together and travel. They took many wonderful trips to Europe and around the United States. They enjoyed the beach and spent many happy times with family and friends at Cherry Grove Beach in South Carolina.
In 2002, they moved to the Plantation Village community in Wilmington to be closer to family and the beach. Lu Ellen enjoyed the many close friends she knew there and happily made personalized cards on her computer for birthdays and special occasions. Unfortunately, John had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1994, and Lu Ellen became his devoted caregiver until his death in 2011 after 62 years of marriage. As a caregiver for John, she was a model of devotion and commitment.
Lu Ellen’s enduring legacy is that of a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She is survived by her son, Bill Griffin (Donna) of Valrico, Florida; daughters, Nancy Kilby (Eric) of Palatine, Illinois, and Carol Irvin (Steve) of Kinston; 13 grandchildren, John M. Griffin (Sara), Katie Kilby Moon (Sean), Charlie Kilby (Xingni), Hannah Irvin Boykin (Dom), Jackson Irvin (Jamie), Matt Irvin (Chelsea), Abby Irvin Yancey (Sam), Josiah Irvin (Diana), John Irvin, Mary Irvin, Joannah Irvin, Dan Irvin and Becky Irvin Jordan (Tye); 12 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Lu Ellen was a Christian, and she lived her faith. She served as a deacon in the Presbyterian Church on numerous occasions and in various communities. In more recent years, she was a member of Wesleyan Chapel United Methodist Church, Wilmington.
The family would like to give special thanks to the staff of the Davis Health Care Community for their kindness and care during her time with them and to the Plantation Village community for their care and support during her seventeen years with them.
A memorial service to celebrate Lu Ellen’s life and a graveside service at Sardis Presbyterian Church in Charlotte will be held at a later date. To honor Lu Ellen, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.
Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.