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.