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Friday, October 6, 2023
6:00 - 8:00pm (Central time)
Saturday, October 7, 2023
1:00 - 2:00pm (Central time)
Paul R. Griffiths Sr., a beloved husband, dad, and grandpa, passed away on October 1, 2023, at the age of 92. He was born on June 25, 1931, in Coffeyville, Kansas, and was the son of Frances Elizabeth (Ellis) and John Robert Griffiths.
As a child Paul resided on Glenwood Street within the city limits of Coffeyville. His early adolescence was shaped by his family's move to the Cedar Bluff area, where he attended Cedar Bluff School along with his siblings. Even as a young boy, Paul showed an admirable work ethic and took on responsibilities such as working as a custodian at the school. He also developed a passion for agriculture while helping his father care for their family acreage and learned to drive a tractor at the tender age of 12. The Busy Band 4-H Club was also very instrumental in his learning to care for livestock and cultivate the land he harvested.
As he entered Field Kindley High School, Paul's life took another turn when his family relocated a few miles further north of Coffeyville. It was during high school that he crossed paths with Arlene Kauffman in their 6th-hour study hall. This meeting marked the beginning of their love story, which endured despite Arlene's family moving to Chicago. The couple maintained a long-distance relationship through heartfelt letters until they rejoined each other and were married on July 16, 1950, at her home church First United Methodist.
Throughout his career, Paul demonstrated perseverance and adaptability. He worked in various places after marrying Arlene. Starting in the 1950s, he joined Dixon Industries before moving on to Continental Can, Parkersburg, and Jensens. Despite experiencing lay-offs along the way, Paul remained resilient and eventually found employment with North American Rockwell. This opportunity led him to relocate his family first to Neosho, Missouri and later to Columbus, Ohio and Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, Coffeyville beckoned them back due to their deep-rooted love for the community. Paul seized an employment opportunity with Farmland Industries (now known as CVR Refining) and dedicated himself to the company for 22 years. During this time, he worked as a machinist and eventually retired as a foreman, leaving behind a legacy of hard work and dedication.
Beyond his professional achievements, Paul's true passions resided in his talents and hobbies. He was a masterful carpenter, using his skills to remodel two of the family's homes in Coffeyville. Gardening brought him joy, and he continued to grow his prize tomatoes until his passing. Paul had a talent for swimming and enjoyed boating and skiing with his family. He and Arlene cherished their adventures together, exploring destinations such as Prince Edward Island, Alaska, Hawaii, various states across the United States, and Canada through memorable cruises.
Paul had an unwavering faith that guided him throughout his life. For over 71 years, he and Arlene were devoted members of the Tri-M Sunday School class at the First United Methodist Church. Additionally, Paul served as an usher at the church and used his carpentry skills to assist in local missions that involved building and repairing churches. His dedication stretched beyond Coffeyville when he traveled with KEC to Haiti to construct new places of worship.
Above all else, Paul cherished time spent with his family, finding immense pride in seeing them grow not only in numbers but also in character. He leaves behind his loving wife of 73 years, Arlene Griffiths of the home. Together they raised their children: Joyce Elaine Berry and Dana Diane Braet (Steve) and Paul Richard "Rick" Griffiths Jr. who preceded him in death. Paul was a doting grandfather to Tony Berry, Jill Rampacek (Tony), Taylor Braet (Leah), Dr. Corey Braet (Sarah), as well as great-grandchildren Grace and Catie Rampacek, Jamie and Johny Braet, Brittney, Delaney, and Briley Braet. His enduring legacy extends further with Nicholas Berry (Kelsey) and his two fifth generation great-great-grandchildren, Emmett and Elenor Berry. Paul also leaves behind his daughter-in-law, Becky Griffiths, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who will forever cherish his memory.
In addition to his immediate family, Paul was preceded in death by his parents, and his siblings along with their spouses: Robert Griffiths (Nadine), Margaret Evans (Jack), Betty Miller (Bob), Joann Benning (Richard).
A visitation to honor Paul's life will be held on October 6, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel located at 2405 Woodland Ave in Coffeyville, Kansas. The funeral service will take place the following day, October 7th at 1:00 p.m., at First United Methodist Church situated at 304 W 10th St in Coffeyville. The family request Memorial Contributions be made payable to First United Methodist Church and may be left in care of the chapel. To leave an online condolence, share a memory or watch the live stream of the services visit his obituary page at www.fordwulfbrunschapel.com
Paul R. Griffiths touched the lives of countless individuals through his unwavering work ethic, genuine kindness, and deep devotion to his family and community. He will be remembered as a man of integrity who lived life with purpose, love and a great sense of humor. May he rest in eternal peace knowing he has left an indelible mark on those who had the privilege of knowing him.