Tuesday, October 15th, 2013...7:01 am
Walter E. Griffing, ’52
Lt. Col. Walter Earl Griffing, U.S. Air Force (ret.), of Niceville, Fla., passed away peacefully on Oct. 14. He was born in Kentwood, La., on Sept. 15, 1930, to Robert Earl and Annie Laurie Cooper Griffing. They lived in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La., before settling in McComb, Miss., where he attended high school and joined and served in the Mississippi National Guard for three years. After high school, he attended The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, where he was a member of the elite Summerall Guards Drill Team and a distinguished Military Graduate in 1952. Upon graduation he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. While on active duty he served as an Air Police Officer; Executive Officer at both squadron and base levels; Education and Training Officer at the Air Force Officer Training School; Management Analysis Officer; and as a base and command level Comptroller for 11 years. In addition to serving at several stateside bases, he also served overseas in Germany, Turkey and Korea. He retired in 1980 after 30 years of military service. During his retirement he conducted and published historical research projects for the Bay Beacon newspaper and the Heritage Museum in Valparaiso, Fla. Among his decorations and awards were: Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Germany), Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with one silver oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, the former Martha (Betty) Floyd, of Shelbyville Tenn.; children, John Earl and wife, Sherry, of Pace, Fla., Elizabeth Anne and husband, Joseph Thomas Pilcher, Jr., of Selma, Ala., and Jerry William of Winter Park, Fla.; grandchildren, Heidi Griffing Finch, Joseph Thomas Pilcher III and wife, Ginnie, Eric Griffing Pilcher, Jaime Elizabeth Pilcher, Willy Bolander and wife, Kristen, Sarah Caroline Griffing, Caleb Ray Griffing and Preston Eli Griffing; and great-grandchildren, Hunter and Hanna Finch, Lisa, Tilly, Willy, Eitan and Sawyer Bolander, and Tinsley Pilcher. Services will be held on Monday, Oct. 21, at Twin Cities Funeral Home in Niceville, Fla., followed by burial at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to: The Citadel Foundation General Fund, 171 Moultrie St. Charleston, SC 29409 or The Alzheimer’s Association , 225 N. Michigan Ave., Floor 17 Chicago, IL 60601.