Thomas Battle Griffin, 89, of Cary, NC, formerly of Kinston, NC, died on July 15, 2015, after a long battle with dementia. He was born in Nashville, NC to Samuel Green Griffin and Henrietta Louise Wooten Griffin on November 26, 1925. The family moved to La Grange, NC in 1930, where Tom graduated from La Grange High School. He attended NC State College before joining the US Army Air Corps in World War II. Upon his honorable discharge from the military in 1945, he continued his education at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and graduated from the UNC School of Law in 1949.In June, 1949, he married his best friend and sweetheart, Emma Britt Davis, of La Grange, NC, and they were married for 66 years. They moved to Kinston in 1950 when he joined J. A. Jones and W. Olin Reed in the law firm known as Jones, Reed, and Griffin. After the death of his law partners, his son, Bob, joined him, and the firm was named Griffin and Griffin. Tom served as County Attorney for Lenoir County for 37 years from 1964 to 2001, and served as Town Attorney for La Grange and Pink Hill. He also served as Auditor, Secretary-Treasurer, and Director of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad. Tom was active in his church and the community. At Queen Street United Methodist Church, he was a lay leader and Chairman of the Board of Stewards. He taught the Young Adult Men’s Sunday School class (later to become the Adult Men’s Class) for over 40 years. He served as president of the following organizations: the NC Association of County Attorneys, the Lenoir County Bar Association, the Kinston Country Club, the Travelers Protective Association, and the Kinston Rotary Club, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Tom will be remembered for his dry wit, his honesty and integrity, and his love of family, golf, and the North Carolina Tar Heels. Tom is survived by his wife; Britt Griffin, children, Robert Wooten Griffin of Kinston, Susan Griffin Montgomery (Robert) of Raleigh, Louise Griffin Belk (Hal) of Cary; and his five grandchildren, Thomas and Bryan Montgomery, Ashley Griffin Summey (John), Julia Griffin, and Carolann Belk. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, including a special niece, Noelle Nelson of Kinston. He was predeceased by his parents; his sisters, Charlotte Nelson, Sarah Cherkasky, and Ruth Williams; and his brothers, Sam, Ray, and Shade Griffin. The family would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff and community of Waltonwood Cary Parkway for the love, care, and friendship they have shown Britt and Tom for the past 2 years, as well as the wonderful caregivers from Hospice of Raleigh. After a private burial in Fairview Cemetery in La Grange, NC, a memorial service will be held at 11:00 on Saturday, July 18, at Queen Street United Methodist Church in Kinston. The family will receive friends during the hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Queen Street United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 508, Kinston, NC 28502 or to Hospice of Wake County, Transitions Life Care, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.
Edwards Funeral Home in Kinston is in charge of arrangements.