DURHAM – Ms. Doris Ernell Griffin passed away September 3, 2017 at Duke Regional Hospital. Born in Durham on February 17, 1928, she was the daughter of the late John P. and Lizzie K. Griffin. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by two sisters, Olive G. Sherman and Mozelle G. Sutherland, and 2 brothers, W. Kimball Griffin and J. Wilson Griffin, and a nephew, Marshall C. Sutherland.
Doris graduated from Durham High School in 1946. She attended Coker College in Hartsville, SC and graduated from the dental hygiene program at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. She was among the first dental hygienists to be licensed in North Carolina and was the first dental hygienist to practice in Durham. For more than 40 years she was associated in practice with her brother Dr. W. Kimball Griffin. Through the years she was active in the North Carolina Dental Hygienists’ Association; and for several years she was a part-time clinical instructor at the School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was an active member of Epworth United Methodist Church.
Doris was a fun-loving person with many interests, who will be remembered by family and friends for her love of life and her wonderful stories of life experiences. She was devoted to her patients and long after retirement had special contacts with many of them. A person of many interests, she enjoyed golf, gardening, photography, traveling, music, cooking and spectator sports. She was an avid Carolina fan, attending most Tar Heel football and basketball games for over 50 years.
Her spirit is best described by a great, great nephew and great niece:
“I just want to take a minute to say how much I love you! You are one of my greatest inspirations in my life. As a young boy, you showed me that no matter what age, life can still be a blast. You have one of the greatest spirits I believe a human can possess. I’d do anything to play ball with you in the backyard one more time. P.S. I hope I can be half the Tar Heel fan you are!” Much love Doris E. Griffin forever and always.”
“ The bond that these birthday twins shared was magical. The world lost a courageous, loving and spirited woman today. Aunt Doris, thank you for loving all of us unconditionally, for teaching us what it means to work hard and play hard and for the best Brunswick stew in the world. Our hearts are broken – we will love you forever and think of you every time the Tar Heels play.”
The Griffin family wants to express their appreciation to Dr. Ann Matthews and the Critical Care Unit Staff at Duke Regional Hospital for the end of life care and comfort provided to Aunt Doris.
Among the very large surviving Griffin family, the following nieces and nephews and their families were special to Doris: Sarah S. Pearson of Asheville, Nancy S. Mooney of Kansas City, Missouri, W. Kimball Griffin, Jr., Ted N. Griffin, Ned W. Griffin, and J. Randolph Griffin all of Durham, and Jeter Griffin and Stan Sherman of Wilmington. Also surviving are very dear friends: Eleanor A. Forbes and Debbie and Joey Strickland as well as her beloved Whippet, Jay.
Inurnment will be at Maplewood Cemetery on September 15, 2017 at 1:30 PM, The Reverend Dr. Gene Cobb officiating. A reception will follow at Epworth United Methodist Church, 3002 Hope Valley Road, Durham, NC.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Protection Society of Durham, 2117 E. Club Blvd, Durham, NC 27704, Epworth United Methodist Church, 3002 Hope Valley Road, Durham, NC 27707 or to a charity of one’s choice.
Arrangements for the Griffin family are under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online condolences www.hallwynne.com, select obituaries