Russell Griffith, age 92, a resident of Oliver Springs, passed away Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at the Life Care Center in Morgan County.
Mr. Griffith was born Aug. 29, 1921, in Coalfield. He continued to live in Coalfield until his third year of high school, when the family moved to Knoxville. He graduated from the Knox Central high School in Fountain City in 1940.
Following his high school graduation he was employed at Fulton Manufacturing from 1941 to 1943, when he entered into the United States Navy.
He served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II. While serving, he received several medals, ribbons citations, and awards, including the WWII Victory Medal. After his military discharge, he returned back to Knoxville and continued his education at the University of Tennessee. In 1949, he began his career with G.M.A.C. and he worked in the Southeast region in Nashville, Knoxville, Atlanta, Lexington, and Louisville.
After his first retirement with General Motors, he again moved back to Knoxville and started a second career in the real estate business as a real estate broker. He continued in the real estate business until his final retirement.
Mr. Griffith was a local historian and genealogist. He possessed a great knowledge of many of the Oliver Springs and Coalfield families, including the Richards and Hannah families. He was a member of the Oliver Springs Historical Society, and he managed the Oliver Springs Cemetery, where many of the Oliver Springs founding families are buried.
In the mid-80s, he made his final move back to his beloved Coalfield. He was well-connected with the Coalfield community, and he supported all Coalfield civic events, including the Coalfield Schools and Coalfield Sporting events. He enjoyed telling a good story, spending time with his friends, and the Volunteers at the University of Tennessee. He was a member of the Coalfield Senior Citizens.
Although he never held a public office, he was very involved with politics, and he was an active member of the Morgan County Democrat Party. He enjoyed a good political debate and often found himself defending his political position at the local Coalfield restaurants and gathering places.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William Eugene Griffith Sr. and Jennie Russell Griffith, and by a brother, William Eugene Griffith Jr.
Mr. Griffith is survived by a sister-in-law, Ester Griffith of Hardin Valley, and by several nieces, nephews, extended family members, and a host of special friends.
At his request, a graveside services will be held Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 11 a.m. at the Oliver Springs Cemetery.
Sharp Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. An online guest book is available at www.sharpfh.com.