American Patriotic 10


William E. (Bill) Griffiths

July 4, 1924 ~ April 8, 2018 (age 93)

EASTHAMPTON – William (Bill) Edward Griffiths, 93, of Ian Circle, passed away Sunday, April 8 at the Holyoke Soldiers Home.  Bill was born on July 4, 1924 in St. Clair, PA to Edward and Maud Irene (Barrett) Griffiths.  He leaves his daughter, Carol Olanyk of Whately, and granddaughter, Celene Boyce (Greg) of Hatfield.  In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife, Anna, his three sisters, Jeanette Yanek, Marguerite Bradley, Maud Irene Leibel and his son-in-law, Charlie Olanyk.  He also leaves a special nephew, Bill Bradley, and his wife, Mary Ann, of Carlisle, PA.

Bill is a WWII veteran, serving in the 8th Air Force, stationed in England.  He was a radio operator/waist gunner in a B-24 Liberator, flying 27 missions over France and Germany, being shot down three times.  On February 2, 1947 he married Anna Hedesh, they were married for 68 years prior to her death.  Bill used the Gi Bill to earn his BS and MA in Education at Penn State University, graduating in 1950.  He began his teaching career at Glen Burnie Junior High School in Glen Burnie, Maryland.  He progressed to the vice principal and then was honored to be appointed to open what was then called the Severna Park Junior/Senior High School in 1959.  During this period Bill developed Annapolis Educational Aids, a program for teaching reading phonetically.  He printed the materials for the kits on a printing press he bought and installed in his basement.

In 1963 Bill attained his EdD from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the family moved to Hadley as Bill came a professor in the School of Education.  While teaching educational law he earned his Juris Doctorate from Western New England College.  After passing the bar exam he only practiced law by drawing up wills free for his friends and neighbors. He is the author of two books on educational law and prayer in the schools.  Also, during this time, he earned his private pilot license, a construction supervisor license, a realtor license and developed Cold Spring Lane in Hadley.  He also served as the installer for Ann’s business, Amherst Interiors, installing custom made draperies and blinds.

In 1972 Bill and Ann retired to Florida where Bill’s energy did not allow him to fully retire.  He worked as a realtor, a banker, started a swimming pool maintenance company, and worked as a car inspector in a Florida state inspection terminal.  He also developed a curriculum and started a pre-test review company, tutoring students on the exam for the Florida Construction Supervisor License.  Also, in 1972 Bill and Ann, ahead of their time, became vegans, attributing their long lives to this way of living.

In 2005 Bill and Ann moved back to Massachusetts, settling in the Harvest Valley condominium community in Easthampton.  Bill became very active in the Northampton Community Gardens, maintaining four organic garden plots until the age of 90.

A life well lived. At Bill’s request there are no services and burial at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam will be private.  Memorial contributions can be made to the 2North Activity Fund at the Soldiers Home in Holyoke, 110 Cherry Street, Holyoke, MA 01040 or to a charity of one’s choice. Arrangements through Smith-Kelleher, Greenfield. 



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