Dr. Richard Eugene Griffin “Doc”

Dr. Richard Eugene Griffin, known to many as “Doc”, Professor Emeritus, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Michigan State University, went to be with his beloved wife, Grace, whom he met in third grade, on June 12, 2012, while he was being cared for at Burcham Hills.

Dr. Griffin, the son of Emmett and Angela Haas Griffin, was born April 18, 1934, in Kansas City, MO. He attended Jesuit schools there through becoming a doctor of osteopathy and practicing as an intern and later partnering in practice with his brother, Jim Griffin.

Dr. Griffin moved to Denver, Colorado, where he was the first D.O. on active staff at Denver General Hospital and practiced on the Substance Abuse Unit until 1971.

At Rocky Mountain Hospital he taught anatomy to interns, was Fire Department and Police Surgeon, physician for city and county jails along with a large general practice including obstetrics and delivering many babies at homes in the hills of Colorado, sometimes being paid in chickens and home improvements.

In January 1976, the Griffins moved to East Lansing where Dr. Griffin was on faculty and practiced with the Family Medicine Clinic at Michigan State University and served as Acting Chair from 1981-82. He served as Ingham County Forensic Examiner, physician at Ingham County Jail and Jackson Prison, and St. Lawrence Hospital Substance Abuse Unit until 2011. He founded the D.O. internship program at St. Lawrence.

Dr. Griffin was multi-boarded in: Family Practice, Addictions Medicine, Quality Assurance, and Correctional Medicine. He served on the Michigan Peer Review Organization, the Military Entrance Processing Station, State of Michigan Licensing Board (9 ½ years), MSU Pediatric Clinic, and numerous charity clinics including Cristo Rey, CareFree Medical Clinic and was on the board of Right to Life. He was in twenty-six societies.

Dr. Griffin welcomed song and early in his career he sang and played drums with “The Melody Makers” and made several records.

Dr. Griffin is survived by his son, Richard Griffin II; daughter, Kathy and son-in-law and best friend José Ruiz; five grandchildren, Courtney, Brooke, José Jr., Kristofer, Antonio; and eight great-grandchildren.

Dr. Griffin lived his Catholic faith in all aspects of his life and he wishes to be remembered by the expression “There is no greater duty than to heal or alleviate suffering.”

An extended thank you to the staff at Burcham Hills of East Lansing, especially Brittney, Sam, DeShauna, Tony, Janee, Kendra, Sarah, Madeline, and Kenya for the care provided during his final weeks.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 955 Alton Rd., East Lansing, with Fr. Mark Inglot as celebrant. Rite of Committal will follow in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Monday at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, with a Rosary to be prayed at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mother Teresa House, McLaren Visiting Nurse and Hospice, Pregnancy Services of Greater Lansing, Marian Hill Fathers or St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.EstesLeadley.com.

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7 Messages to “Dr. Richard Eugene Griffin “Doc”

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June 14, 2012 at 9:59 am

Where do I even begin. I have been so blessed to have spent the first 27 years of my life with one of the most well-known, respected, and faithful doctor, father, husband, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. I was blessed to be able to call him my grandfather. He has taught me countless things about life and created many memories for me to cherish forever. Although it is never easy to lose anyone, he is now free from pain and suffering. More importantly, he got his wish…to go to sleep, go home, and rejoin the love of his life just in time to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary on June 15 (which they have never spent apart).

Bernadette Leone
June 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Dr. Griffin was my physician for many years and I appreciated his gentle care. He was respectful and treated me with great dignity. He brought such honor to the profession of medicine. I would see Grace and Dr. Griffin at church often and was always impressed that he would cart his oxygen up to the altar to serve as Eucharistic Minister. In the last few years I’d see him riding around in the motorized cart at Meijer. He always stopped and chatted. What a wonderful man.

Mary Rohrman
June 16, 2012 at 9:38 am

Dick and Grace were lifelong treasured friends to my parents, Clayton and Jo Antieau and to my husband Tim and I. We were so fortunate to be able to enjoy more time with them after they moved to nearby Michigan. My dad said Dick was a “friend to the end”, and that is so very true. He continued to keep in good contact with us after Grace died,even sending us greeting cards as she did. He and Grace were always truly interested in what was going on with us. In my last phone visit with him, he was down to 120 lbs. and gravely ill, but still wanted to know in detail how all of us were doing. Oh how we will miss that love and friendship, but we can’t help but be happy for him. And now we have him as an advocate for all of us in heaven!

katherine bolan
June 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

wish you great thoughts and memories of your dad grandfather may god shine a healing heart for the pain you feel love always kathy victor esperanza

Ellen Kehoe, DO
June 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm

My condolences to your family. Doc Griffin was one of my instructors in medical school, and set a great example for all of us.
Sincerely, Ellen L. Kehoe DO, MSU COM class of 1982

August 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

It’s almost three months since Doc passed away and I still remember him. I was one of the CNA’s who took care of him and I can say that he was a very nice guy. I cannot forget how he would sing to serenade me and we laughed together. It was a privilege to know you. I miss you, Doc.

September 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I can’t believe Grandpa has been gone for over 3 months now. It seems like just yesterday we were having Sunday dinners on Footman or watching EWTN together. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to create to many wonderful memories with you Grandpa. It is those memories that helps me get by, day by day. I miss you more than words can explain or describe. I cannot wait until the day I can see you and Grandma again. Tomorrow is A’Maya’s birthday and she was asking if she gets 2 birthdays this year (meaning the family one we had with you and grandma and the party for friends and family). It was hard hearing that from her, especially her saying birthdays wont be the same anymore. I am sure you both will be with us though. I miss you so so so very much.


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