Billy Wayne Griffin, known as Bill by his family and friends, entered into his Heavenly home on September 11, 2021, at Citizen’s Medical Center in Columbia, La. He was born December 5, 1937, in Atlanta, Texas, to LD, Sr. and Bessie Cassels Griffin. At the time, his dad was living in Texas working in the oilfield. Although he was a Texas native, Duty Ferry, Louisiana, was home.
In the 1950s , Bill attended and graduated from Enterprise High School where he excelled in basketball. Although small in stature at 5’8”, his quick and sneaky skills at stealing the basketball from opponents made him fun to watch. Bill never met a stranger and would literally give the shirt off his back to anyone that needed help. Everyone loved him and he had no enemies. He had a strong faith in Jesus Christ and always shared his faith in the LORD. He spent numerous hours studying his Bible and writing notes in his many notebooks.
After high school, he met a beauty from Ouachita Parish, Kathleen Jordan, and the two became husband and wife. In 1961, a son, Todd, arrived. Bill loved his family dearly and would have given his life for them.
In the 1970s, he became a successful insurance salesman with Wooden of the World. He started out in West Monroe as a salesman and then later transferred to Arizona as Area Manager. As always, his people skills and compassion for others were key to his success in insurance sales. Unfortunately, in the late 70s, once again his health ruled his life. He became gravely ill and then moved back home, to be near doctors, family, and friends.
In the 1980s, Billy and Kathleen became known as Monnie and Bill when their grandson, Daniel, arrived on the scene. He was so very proud of him. As a young lad, Daniel spent much quality time with his “Bill” learning expert skills of fishing and hunting. Their fishing and duck hunting tales are legendary! We must give Monnie credit for her part in helping to construct their duck blinds. Now there are two great grands that love to come to Monnie and Bill’s. Even recently in poor health, Bill managed to get in a few fishing tutorials with Sawyer and Anna, the great grands he loved so much.
Bill always had great ideas for inventions. He actually had a patent on an oilfield tool that was proven to work on marginal flowing wells just east of Denver, Colorado, in the 1980s. In earlier years when the family lived in West Monroe, he constructed a backyard pitching device to help his young son, Todd, practice his baseball skills. It consisted of a few hundred dollars of lumber and an old mattress. Even though it may have resembled a feeding trough, it definitely proved to be effective. While doing commercial fishing, he once made a winch from an old truck starter and mounted it on the front of the huge fishing boat. This aided his then high school son, Todd, to raise 6 foot hoop nets from the deepest holes of the Ouachita River.
Unfortunately, Bill’s health issues continued to dominate his life. For instance, the year the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl, he contracted a bacterial infection in his stomach. For months he lay on his deathbed. Even from his ICU bed, he predicted the game winning field goal that would send the Saints to the Super Bowl. During that illness, it looked as though he would not recover, but the Good LORD spared him once again. When he became ill during this most recent ordeal of kidney disease, most still thought his legend of beating the odds would prevail. It was not meant to be this time for his healing would come on the other side. He always told his family, “One day we will be stepping high cotton!” Around midnight on September 11, 2021, he finally made it to high cotton!
Bill is preceded in death by his parents LD, Sr. and Bessie Cassels Griffin; sisters, Doris McKee Oliveaux and Edna Gunn White; half – brother, LD, Jr.
Bill is survived by his wife of 62 years, Kathleen Jordan Griffin; son, Todd Griffin (Velita) of Columbia, La.; grandson, Daniel Griffin (Margo) of West Monroe; great grandchildren, Sawyer and Anna Kathleen Griffin; brother, Bennie Griffin C. (Annie) of Columbia, LA.
Graveside services will be held at 4:00 P.M., Monday, September 13, 2021, to celebrate Bill’s life. The service will be held at Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Calhoun, Louisiana with Bro. Werner Aswell, Jr. officiating and will be under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home.