Samuel “Sam” Marvin Griffin Jr.

Published 3:41 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Samuel “Sam” Marvin Griffin, Jr.

April 27, 2015

Samuel “Sam” Marvin Griffin, Jr.,79, of Bainbridge, former publisher and editor of The Post Searchlight, passed away Monday, April 27, 2015 after a battle with cancer.

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The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at the First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Gerald A. Little officiating. Interment will follow at Oak City Cemetery with Paschal Ward, Ernie Purcell, Gerard Kwilecki, Clayton Penhallegon, Terry Toole, Steve Poitevint, Keith Newberry, Kinson Cook and Ted Mauldin, Vance Custer, Jack Leverett, John Dowdy, Nick Bert, Billy Fleming, Jim Griffin, Eddie Dodd, Wallace Cato and David Maxwell serving as pallbearers.

The family will receive friends immediately following the service at First Presbyterian Church. Online visitors may sign the guest register at Memorial donations may be made to the PAGE Foundation, c/o S. Marvin Griffin Memorial Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 942270, Atlanta, GA 31141-2270 or First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 7067, Bainbridge, GA 39818.

Mr. Griffin was born February 12, 1936 in Bainbridge, Ga., the son of S. Marvin Griffin of Bainbridge,  and Elizabeth Smith Griffin, formerly of Winchester, Virginia. Marvin Griffin was editor of The Post Searchlight at the time and would later serve as state Adjutant General, Lieutenant Governor and Georgia’s 72nd Governor.

Mr. Griffin attended Bainbridge public schools, graduating in the Class of 1954, and attended Georgia Tech on a Navy Regular scholarship. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1958, was commissioned an Ensign and entered active duty the same day. He served temporary duty in the Amphibious Forces, Atlantic, prior to attending Navy training and participated in the amphibious landings at Beirut. He attended Naval Flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator and Naval Helicopter Pilot, serving in helicopter antisubmarine squadrons One and Three, aboard USS Valley Forge, USS Intrepid and USS Wasp. He participated in the 1962 Cuban Blockade.

A third generation of publishers and editors at The Post Searchlight, he resigned his Navy commission in 1963 and returned to Bainbridge to join his parents in the newspaper, which was founded by his grandfather, E.H. “Pat” Griffin.

He was a member, Deacon and Elder of First Presbyterian Church and an Eagle Scout. Mr. Griffin was active in community journalism affairs for more than 46 years. He was a past president of Georgia Press Association and a past president of the National Newspaper Association. He was a founding director of First Port City Bank, a former member and vice chairman of the State Board of Education, a former member and vice chairman of the Georgia Ports Authority. He was a former board member of the Georgia Business Council and a former director of the Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County.

Mr. Griffin is survived by his best friend and wife of 53 years, Mary Ann Hill Griffin, formerly of Cordele; and two adult children, Sam M. “Sammy” Griffin III of Bainbridge and Virginia Ann “Ginger” Griffin of Tallahassee, Florida; and his adopted son, Mark T. Pope and his wife, Jackie and her daughter Ceciley of Bainbridge; Retha Wilson (Griffin) of Bainbridge; and Margaret Griffin of Bainbridge.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his elder sister, Patricia Ann, who died in the Winecoff Hotel fire on December 7, 1946.

He loved his God, his church, his country, the people of Georgia, God’s wild creatures, the outdoors, dogs–especially fuzzy-faced Drahthaars–and especially being with the THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE.