|10/13/2012 3:11:00 PM|
Greta Margaret Griffiths
March 27, 1920 - October 10, 2012
Following a long and glorious life, Greta moved to what can only be imagined as a joyous reunion with her multitude of family and friends at Heaven's Gate on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.
Greta and her twin sister, Betty, were born in Cumberland, Vancouver Island, in 1920 to Ted and Mary Greig. Brother Jim and another sister, Sue, soon joined the twins, and the family, with four children under the age of 5, made their home in nearby Royston where her parents became world-renowned rhododendron experts and Greta began what would be her own life-long passion for gardening.
Greta went to nursing school in Vancouver where the dashing Hugh Griffiths, visiting from Seattle, swept her off her feet and out of Canada after her graduation in 1941. They settled in Seattle and following Hugh's tour in the Navy he started one of the first businesses, a smoke shop, in Seattle's Northgate Shopping Mall.
Greta and Hugh moved to Chelan in 1953 to purchase a restaurant that would become known as Hugh's Steak House. They had four children, all of them living in a small apartment above the restaurant, and all of them contributing in their way to the success of the restaurant. Following Hugh's untimely death in 1965, Greta took over the management of the restaurant and assumed the role of single parent to four headstrong children. With generous help from friends and business associates, she successfully ran the iconic establishment until 1973 and saw that all her children went to college and pursued their own careers in education and public service.
Following the sale of the restaurant in 1973, Greta led the push to secure Chelan's first ambulance and was the first director of the Lake Chelan Volunteer Ambulance Association until her retirement in 1989. She continued teaching First Aid, CPR and EMT courses until 2006. One of her last official presentations was at the state EMT Convention where she gave a roundly praised presentation on how to appropriately and effectively handle medical emergencies with older men and women.
Since coming to Chelan, Greta has maintained a strong connection with the Lake Chelan Community Hospital as one of the earliest members of Guild B, one of the Chelan's first hospital guilds. She maintained an active interest in bridge, golf and bowling, but her real mission in life was caring for those in need.
She felt passionately that her own life had been saved by the community support she received following Hugh's death and she devoted the rest of her life to repaying the people of Chelan with a similar level of support. She received many honors for her public service including Soroptimist Woman of the Year in 1977, the Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year in 1978, and the Chamber of Commerce Senior Citizen of the Year in 2002.
She was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She never forgot a birthday and always included a special poem extolling the recipients many (and usually exaggerated) virtues and accomplishments. As a mother, she always found time to be a scout leader, a school chaperone, a babysitter and a mentor. As a friend, she was always available for a helping hand and an encouraging word. Her life of generosity and service will continue to be an inspiration to all who knew her.
Greta is survived by her brother Jim Greig and wife Jean of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, and sister Sue Mouat of Salt Spring Island, Vancouver Island; her sons David Griffiths and wife Jackie of Wenatchee and Greg Griffiths and wife Chris of Chelan; her daughters Barbara Bolson and husband Larry of Port Orchard and Wendy Redman and husband Ralph Gabrielli of Chelan. She has 11 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, all of whom she adored and whose names she remembered right to her last breath.
Greta was preceded in death by her parents, Mary and Ted Greig, her husband Hugh Griffiths, her twin sister Betty Harrison, her granddaughter Molly Redman, and many close family members and friends that now have her firmly in their embrace.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Chelan on Oct. 18, 2012. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Greta's memory to the Lake Chelan Community Hospital Foundation or to the charity of your choice. Services have been entrusted to Precht Rose Chapel, Chelan.
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