EASTLAND – Willard Lovelace Griffin, 94, long time Eastland resident, passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family on Saturday, November 25, 2017. Services will be Tuesday, November 28th at 10:00 A.M. at the Methodist Church in Eastland, followed by burial at Eastland City Cemetery. The family will receive visitors Monday, November 27th from 6~8 PM at Edwards Funeral Home in Eastland.
Willard was the oldest of 3 boys born to David and Lavinia Griffin on November 2, 1923 in Calallen, Texas. The family lived in several south Texas communities before settling permanently in Lampasas. Because of the many moves, he graduated with his twin brothers in 1942.
After a short stint with North American Aviation in Dallas, where at 19 he was the lead of 13 women, he joined the Army Air Corp. As the nose gunner in a B24 bomber he saw lots of action over Italy during WWII. He was honorably discharged 23 months later on October 18, 1945.
His family’s move to Lampasas put him across the street from his future wife, Onella Williamson. They married on March 21, 1946. After moving several times his future business partner asked him to go to an auction at a store in Eastland. They bought the business and building thus Coats Furniture was established.
Willard quickly became an active part of the community. He was elected to the school board, many church boards, and was presented the Golden Deed citizen award in 1971. He also helped form a SAF-BI group for area furniture buyers. Many people have shared stories about his kindness and selfless generosity.
After his retirement in 1983, he and Onella started traveling with the Super Senior from the Methodist Church and Bilbrey tours out of Abilene. They toured many interesting sites across Texas and the U.S.
Willard’s parents, wife of 69 years, and a nephew preceded him.
Left to share stories and tales of his fun-loving personality are a son, Don (Jeanie) Griffin and daughter, Marcia (Lon) Siddall, five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and one great, great grandchild. He is also survived by his twin brothers Ed and Fred Griffin and sister-in-law, Erma Lee Griffin of Lampasas. Many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends also cherish his memory.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to Foster’s Home for Children in Stephenville or the hospitality fund at the Methodist Church.
Online condolences can be made at www.edwards-funeral-homes.com.