James A. Griswold, 88, of 311 Swan St., Dunkirk, NY passed away Wednesday evening (March 5, 2014) at home.
He was born April 8, 1925 in Fredonia, the son of the late Arden J. Griswold and Harriett (Shuler) Griswold.
Jim spent most of his childhood in Sheridan, NY. He became a Boy Scout patrol leader, reached the rank of Life Scout and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow.
James A. Griswold
Jim enlisted in the U.S. Navy at Sampson, NY, and graduated from New London, Conn. He went to electrical school and then volunteered for submarine duty. After basic and advanced courses, he was put on a submarine tender, the USS Sperry AS 12, repairing submarines in the South Pacific. He became a member of the crew aboard the USS Threadfin SS 410. After the war ended, he was back at the New London sub base for school boat duty. He was discharged in April 1946.
Jim was a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. While attending St. Mary's (church's previous name), he was head usher for more than 30 years as well as an altar server for morning Masses and a Holy Name Society officer.
He was a life member of the National Submarine Veterans of World War II (Grenedier Chapter of Buffalo) First Ward Falcon Club, National Wild Turkey Federation and the Lake-side Club, which he had formerly served as vice president. He was instrumental in starting the golf league for the Lakeside Club, where he was a member for more than 35 years. Jim also was a Plank Life member of the Sampson WW II Navy Veterans and a member of John T. Murray VFW Post 1017 and the Dunkirk Historical Lighthouse and Veterans Park Museum, where he donated many items for display in the submarine building. He also belonged to the National Wood Carvers Club and AARP, and volunteered for Meals On Wheels as well as literacy teaching.
Jim and his wife Arlene spent 24 years at Indian Creek Park in Ft. Myers Beach, FL during the winter months. They went to school to become guardians ad litem (persons who represent children in court). They were avid square dancers for 33 years, belonging to Trail 'N Squares in Buffalo and In-dian Trail 'N Squares of St. Catharine's in Canada, among other clubs. They at-tended many square dance conventions throughout the states and danced in Hawaii and Alaska.
In 1962, the city of Dunkerque, France invited the people of Dunkirk, New York to their 300th anniversary, in thanksgiving for all the help that was given to them during World War II. Sixty-eight people made the trip, including Jim and Arlene. While there, they took a side trip to Rome and had an audience with Pope John XXIII at Gandolfa, his summer home. They also enjoyed side trips to Geneva, Switzerland and Brussels, Belgium.
Jim retired from Alleghany Ludlum Steel Corp. in 1987 after 32 years of working in several departments. He loved hunting for deer and turkey in the spring and fall.
Jim is survived by his wife of 67 years, the former Arlene M. Ivory, whom he married Sept. 12, 1946. They had graduated in the same class from St. Mary's Academy in 1943.
Also surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Janet (Harry) Centner of Fredonia and Mrs. Judy (Craig) Mekus of Dunkirk; four granddaughters, Mrs. Dara (Mark) Sage of Kailua, Hawaii, Mrs. Susan (David) O'Rourke of Orchard Park, NY, Mrs. Heather (John) Scharber of Ko'Olina, Hawaii and Mrs. Amy (Michael) Pease of Cherry Creek, NY; three great-granddaughters, Erin, Caitlin and Jillian O'Rourke of Orchard Park, NY; a sister, Ruth Sutter of Winter Haven, FL; a brother, John (Lois) Griswold of Dun-kirk; and several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated Monday morning at 10 o'clock in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. There will be no calling hours. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery. Flowers gratefully declined. Memorials made in James' memory may be made to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church or the Dunkirk Lighthouse. Arrangements are by the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home.