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George Washington “G.W.” Griffin, a past chairman of London, Ky.-based wholesaler Laurel Grocery Co., died Dec. 19 from complications of pneumonia. He was 85. Born on Feb. 28, 1926, in East Bernstadt, Ky., Griffin served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Griffin began his career in the food industry under the guidance of Laurel's two founding partners, G.W. Griffin Sr. and W.J. Chesnut. His other grocery industry activities included chairing the Food Marketing Education Council, as well as sitting on the boards of the National-American Wholesale Grocers Association for two terms starting in 1967, and the Kentucky Grocers Association (KGA), of which he was elected president in 1979. In 1986, the KGA/Kentucky Association of Convenience Stores (KACS) named Griffin Kentucky Grocer of the Year.
After his retirement from the grocery industry in 1997, Griffin was honored as one of the original three inductees into the Kentucky Grocers Hall of Fame in 2005. He was also active in many civic and community events.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Elizabeth Park “Sis” Griffin; a sister, Margaret Fouts of Lacey, Wash.; three children; and five grandchildren.
Services will be held Wednesday, Dec. 21 at First Baptist Church in London. Donations may be made to the George W. Griffin Charitable Scholarship Trust, PNC Institutional Investments, 1900 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114, Attn: Lauren Middleton.