Edward J. Griffith
Edward J. Griffith, 86, of Rapid City, died Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 at Rapid City Regional Hospital.
He was born May 17, 1927 on a farm near Gettysburg, SD to Will and Ellen (Rock) Griffith. Ed grew up during the depression and learned how to get by with little. He was very close to his five sisters and two brothers. He was mechanically inclined and liked to tinker with the tractors on the farm and often helped his dad keep the family car running. Ed helped work the farm and after attending high school in Gettysburg, joined the U.S. Navy serving on Guam in the Sea Bees. He was discharged in 1946 and returned to the farm. Ed and his brother, Joe, went into the trucking business, hauling gravel for road projects around the Midwest. He also worked on building a dam in North Dakota.
He married Beverly McLaughlin in Vivian, SD on Dec. 10, 1955 and they moved to Rapid City in 1956.
Ed worked for car dealerships as a body and fender man until becoming manager of the body shop at Atwater Pontiac in Rapid City. In 1971 he started First Street Auto Body. On July 1, 1973, Ed purchased Jalopy Jungle and later changed the name to A-1 Auto Recyclers.
He was a member of the Downtown Lions, a life member of Rushmore VFW Post 1273, and St. Therese Catholic Church.
Ed was a proud conservative. Ed loved road trips and with Beverly, travelled to all 50 states. He enjoyed puzzles, old western movies, ice cream and the weekly arrival of the Potter County News.
He is survived by his daughter, Denise Griffith, St Paul, MN and his son, Tony Griffith and his wife, Michele, Rapid City, four grandchildren; Amanda Dreyer and her husband, Sid, Manhattan, KS and Sheldon, Nicole and Stephanie Griffith, all of Rapid City, three great-grandchildren and his sister, Theresa Bunk, Gurnee, IL.
He was preceded in death by his wife Beverly in 2009, brothers Francis and Joe, and sisters, Rose, Mary, Julia and Elaine.
Mass of Christian Burial was offered Saturday, Aug. 17 at St. Therese Catholic Church with Fr. Bill Zandri presiding. Inurnment will take place at a future date at Black Hills National Cemetery.
A memorial has been established.
Friends may sign his online guest register at www.serenityspringsfuneralchapel.com.