Monty Ray Griffith
July 7, 1939 ~ August 20, 2012
1939 in Adin, CA – John and Marion Griffith were blessed with a baby boy that was in their words, “Perfect in every way.” As he grew, he was a happy, blue eyed boy with golden white locks who called his mother ‘Mudder.’ At a very young age, Monty’s family moved to Etna, CA, where his father worked as a millwright. Monty spent most of his upbringing in the lumber camps where his father worked. He also enjoyed being a member of Boy Scouts of America during his childhood in Etna. As a teenager, Monty’s first job was as a bagger for the local grocery store. He graduated from Etna High School in 1957, and attended Northrop Technical Institute, before joining the Navy in 1958. During his time in the Navy, Monty studied electrical engineering and radio communications. He enjoyed traveling to the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Peru, Hawaii, China, Philippines, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Japan, and Mexico. After his service of four years and five months, Monty was honorably discharged from duty, and moved to Montague, CA. Monty worked for a local Montague radio and TV service store, before opening Griffith Enterprises, a two way communications installation and repair shop. During this time, he also did audio/visual work for schools and commercial sound.
In the summer of 1966, Monty heard a knock on the window of his store front, and caught a glimpse of a beautiful, mischievous, young lady running off giggling. As he walked down the sidewalk to find out why she had been knocking on his window, he found a local rancher’s daughter – his future wife – hiding with her face full of embarrassment and amusement. In that moment, he went from being irritated to smitten, as he asked Valerie Jane Lindsey to lunch. Monty wasn’t aware that Valerie had loved him, before he had even met her. Monty and Valerie were married April 20, 1968. They were blessed with their first daughter, Dorathy Jane, in February 1969. In April 1976, their son, Aaron Themas, was born after Monty had survived a serious auto accident while working in Mexico. Monty and Valerie’s youngest daughter was born in 1981, after a move to Montrose, CO. Montrose is where Monty got his musical career started; he learned to play the bass guitar his wife had gifted him. He joined his first band, a bluegrass group called the “Cerro Summit Wood Band.” Monty took his family on many bluegrass adventures as he taught his family the importance of music. In 1987, Monty saw the opportunity of a lifetime in Washington, and took a Job at Bonneville Power Administration. Living in Washington had become a dream for Monty and his wife, and soon Washington became home. He worked, started his band “Cadillac Red” and raised his family in the Grand Coulee area. In 1997, Monty transferred to Wenatchee to provide better opportunities for his children. Monty’s band thrived after the transfer as well, as “Cadillac Red” has just celebrated 21 years. Monty had recently become the band’s pianist; his good friend, Joe Guimond, took on bass player duties.
Monty loved his work and music. He never planned to retire, but he loved his family more than anything. He lived his life doing all he could to give his family a good life. Monty had a very special bond with his grandson, Mikey, who lived with him since birth, and treated Mikey as if he were his own son. In 2010 and 2012, Monty enjoyed being a part of his two younger children’s weddings. Monty said proudly that he “hand-picked” his daughter-in-law, Lisa. Monty was very proud of his children and their spouses, as well as all five of his grandchildren. Monty was called to Heaven at age 73, on August 20, 2012, at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee. He left his family full of loving memories, good values, strength, gratitude and love.
Monty is survived by his wife, Valerie Griffith of East Wenatchee; daughter, Dorathy Griffith of Phoenix; son, Aaron Griffith and wife, Lisa Griffith of Wenatchee; daughter, Marianne Griffith and husband, PJ Richardson of East Wenatchee; sister, Linda Dixon of Oklahoma City; and his beloved grandchildren, Robert, Michael, Jonathan, Baylee and Valyn.
“We, your family, miss you, in the house you used to be. We wanted so much to keep you, but God willed it not to be. Now you are in Heaven’s keeping – you suffer no more pain. Dear God take care of him, until we meet again.” ~ Unknown
“A man unlike any other – with a loving heart and a beautiful face – a man we love so much and can never replace – you weren’t selfish in any way – you were never unkind – Dad, these are the memories you’ve left behind.” -Unknown, re-worded by Marianne Griffith
Monty’s family would like to invite all of his friends, family and acquaintances to celebrate his life at the Rocky Reach Dam Visitor Center on Sunday, September 2, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. Arrangements are assisted by Telford’s Chapel of the Valley, East Wenatchee.