Donn W. Griffith
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Donn W. Griffith
Saturday, August 1, 2020 Donn William Griffith, D.V.M. passed peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, from complications of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. He was preceded in death by his parents, Eugene Garfield Griffith and Opal Lucille Borrows; his father-in-law, Charles MacTavish Pyke; his step-father-in-law, Ray R. Christensen; and his first wife, Judith Montgomery Munzinger, mother to Laurie and Lisa. He is survived by his adoring wife of 43 years, Gayle Pyke Griffith, his children and grandchildren: Laurie Buczek (Michael), Christopher and Nicholas of Gilbert, AZ; Lisa Michelle Griffith (Kenny), Aidan Ryan McGeehan of Rancho Santa Fe, CA; Bryan MacTavish Griffith (Stephani), Riley, Quinn, and Sawyer of Dublin, OH; and Bradley Donn Griffith (Abbey Jo), Noelle and Gloria of New Albany, OH; his brother, Elbert Garfield Griffith (Siesta Key, FL); the Pyke Family of Salt Lake City, UT, including mother-in-law, Jeanne Forrest Pyke Christensen, sister-in-law, Diane (Bill) Sartain, brother-in-law, Robert Pyke; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Dad was known as Dr. Donn to thousands of devoted pet owners and listeners of his WOSU radio show and viewers of WBNS 10TV Heart of Ohio television segments. He devoted his professional life to the care of dogs, cats, pocket pets, and exotic animals. He attended Purdue University, where he played football and proudly pledged Sigma Chi before serving with the United States Air Force Reserve. He completed a B.S. in Physiology from The Ohio State University and returned to Purdue to earn his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. In 1970, he moved to Dublin, OH to build a veterinary hospital and start a practice, also serving as the veterinarian to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, while teaching and earning his M.S. in Zoo Preventative Medicine from OSU. After 51 years of practice, Dad retired in August 2019.
We learned a strong work ethic from the example set by our father, who worked many types of jobs including, at age six, helping his big brother to deliver newspapers. Other work included ditch digging; selling Fuller brushes, Electrolux vacuums, and John Hancock life insurance; maintaining tennis courts; and serving burgers as a carhop at Swensons. As a veterinarian, he worked six days a week and was on-call for emergencies seven days a week at all hours of the day and night.
Dad was a lifelong learner and avid reader who had a thousand hobbies; most notably he was a great fisherman, euchre player, and photographer. He taught his children and grandchildren these hobbies and his love of the outdoors in their favorite vacation spot in and around Yellowstone National Park. He also started the first veterinary service in West Yellowstone, MT in 1980.
Dad taught us to keep an open mind about ideas and people, as he explored and achieved certifications in acupuncture, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. He founded Ohio Holistic Veterinary Hospital and served as president of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.
Dad made friends easily in every room he entered. Always fiercely loyal, he kept close contact with classmates from his early education in Upper Arlington, his classmates at Akron Buchtel High School, his Sigma Chi fraternity brothers from Purdue and Ohio State, and his veterinary colleagues. His 60+ years of membership in First Community Church included membership in Couples Circle 70, who have become some of his dearest friends.
A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, he told us he loved us often, and demonstrated his love in too many ways to count. We will miss him dearly while we strive to honor him in the way we live our lives.