2023ObituariesWilliam “Bill” Griffin III

February 27, 2023by SealeUser16

October 22, 1950 – February 27, 2023

William “Bill” Griffin III, age 72, of Denham Springs, Louisiana, passed away peacefully at home on February 27, surrounded by his loving family. Bill was born in Richmond, Virginia to William Otha Griffin, Jr. and Virgie Lee (Jones) Griffin on October 22, 1950. Bill is survived by his wife Gloria Gerlach Griffin; his son, William “Willie” Griffin IV; his daughter and son-in-law, Melanie Griffin Derry and Christopher John Derry; his grandchildren, Jackson Pierce Derry, Isabella Noelle Derry, and Madeline Grace Derry. He is also survived by his sister, Patricia Griffin Markel; his brother and sister-in-law, Barry Lynn Griffin and Cheryl Howk Griffin; his brother-in-law and wife, Evan Gerlach Jr. and Sue Sampson; and his nephews and nieces, Gary Lee Markel II, Michael Lynn Griffin, Matthew Sampson, Anna McLin, Jennifer Gerlach, and Laura McGrath.

Bill was a thoughtful, devoted husband, evidenced by the extravagant love he lavished on Gloria, his wife of 49 years. In their younger days as high school sweethearts, Bill and Gloria enjoyed going to concerts, taking out the “yellow banana” (their boat), traveling abroad, and vacationing with friends. Bill was the supportive and proud dad of Willie, who shares his sense of humor, love of LSU football, and incredible sales ability. He was the doting daddy of Melanie, who will always be his “sunshine” and will never be too old to sing about bushels, pecks, and hugs around the neck. The second-born child to William O. Griffin, Jr. and Virgie Lee (Jones) Griffin, Bill was grateful for the relationship he had with his siblings, Pat and Barry. Their time together was usually spent reminiscing about childhood shenanigans and never short on laughter! Characterized by positivity and perseverance, Bill was always a hard worker who knew exactly how to serve his tire customers. However, one of Bill’s greatest accomplishments came in 2009 when he was promoted to Paw-Paw. His grandchildren, Jackson (14), Isabella (12), and Maddie Grace (9) were the apple of his eye and his face lit up watching them dance, sing, and tell stories of friendships and school.

Ever the optimist and extrovert, Bill’s big personality and infectious laugh brought life to any party. He hardly met a stranger and was a caring friend to all. He loved any excuse to host a “deal” (what he called a big cookout with friends, during which he grilled steaks, sausage, and his famous bacon-wrapped shrimp) – a tradition carried on by his son-in-law, Chris, to this day. Bill will be remembered for his love of twangy country music, taking “long cuts” to spend more time in the car together, and always ordering the most expensive thing on the menu when Willie took him out to dinner.

A celebration of life service will be held at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Baton Rouge on Saturday, March 4 at 11:00am, with a reception immediately following. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the charity of your choice in his honor. Please share your condolences at www.sealefuneral.com




  • Amanda Simpson

    March 4, 2023 at 8:36 pm

    Growing up my sister and I always loved visits with Aunt Glo, Uncle Bill, Melanie, and Willy. They’ve always been family. Uncle Bill is missed and I’m sure mom and dad were there to welcome him home. Sending love to everyone!


  • Pat Goolsby Patten

    March 4, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    Gloria, I am sorry to hear of the passing of your husband. I did not know him, but from the article, he sounds like he was a wonderful husband and family man. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


  • Lee Markel

    March 2, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    God Bless you Uncle Bill, may you rest in peace. Thank you for being a good man and thoughtful uncle when I was growing up. I enjoyed some great times with you. Every time I ride a dirt bike even to this day I remember you and Barry teaching me how to ride when I was a kid. Tell Nan and Gran we all love them and miss them. We will all be together through Christ one day in the future. Love , Lee


  • Laura Gautreau

    March 2, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    I am so sorry to read about Bill’s passing. My thoughts, love and prayers are with you.
    God’s Blessing,



    March 2, 2023 at 4:03 am

    Terry and I are so sorry for your loss of the loving husband and father Bill was. We do remember so many great times with the two of you. May God give peace and comfort to each of you during this time. We love you folks.


  • Ronnie (Fike) Allen

    March 2, 2023 at 3:42 am

    Billy was one of the 1st boys I met when I moved to Richmond in 1965. We rode the same bus to school and spent many days together with Charlie Davis and Jimmy Southworth who both lived on his street. We shot and killed each other many times playing Army in the woods by my house on Oxnard Road along with bike rides, basketball, shooting pool in Mechanicville, etc. I looked for him many times and asked about him but I just never nailed down his location. I had heard he was selling tires somewhere in Richmond. He was a fun loving guy and I am so sorry I never got to speak to him again. I am so sorry for your loss and I am sure you will really miss him but remember the good times for years to come. God Bless all of you during this difficult time.
    PS: Billy also gave me my Nickname “Fike” which I wore on a sweatshirt (1st day of Gym class) my sister gave me from her High School which only said FIKE on the back, named after Dr. Ralph L. Fike. The nickname stuck so well I named my 1st band “The Fikesmen” and many people thought my name was Ronnie Fike or Fike Allen. Rest in Peace my friend…


  • Pam Scott (Day)

    March 2, 2023 at 1:24 am

    Gloria, my heart is breaking upon reading about Billy. Having known you both throughout high school, watching your love grow, I always envied your relationship. You both were so beautiful together. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Love you, my friend.


  • Doug, Riddell

    March 1, 2023 at 10:22 pm

    I am so sorry to hear that Billy has passed away. We grew up together in the Fairmount, Baptist, Church, and Richmond, sang together in the choir, and attended the RAs, (the boy’s Baptist youth group). Billly’s, mom, and dad along with Pat and Glenn, were like family. I know the memories that he made with you will serve us a blessing. You have my sincerest sympathy, and deepest condolences, in this time of loss.


  • Gay Elizabeth Crain

    March 1, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    Dear Gloria, Willie, & Melanie, & all of your family,
    Cecil & I are blessed to be friends of Gloria & Bill. We remember how Bill would come to work with Gloria. Bill always had a big smile on his face. We knew Gloria & Bill loved each other very much. Their love for each other & their children are great testimonies to us.
    All of you are in our prayers.
    Love, Cecil & Gay Elizabeth Crain


  • Debbie Jukes

    March 1, 2023 at 8:47 pm

    What a wonderful guy Bill was. We had so much fun in school and after graduation. I remember those dances as well. I’ve always held Bill in my heart because he was a very good friend. My thoughts and prayers go out to you, Gloria, and the rest of the family. Know that Bill is at Peace. Hugs to all. Love, Debbie Dogoli


  • William & Judith Traynham

    March 1, 2023 at 7:58 pm

    His smile and laughter will be missed all the Richmond, Virginia area. The fun times we had with y’all and Simpson family. RIP Good buddy you will be missed.


    • Shannon VanFossen (Simpson)

      March 18, 2023 at 8:51 pm



  • Rhett Bunch

    March 1, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    Gloria I sorry to hear about Bill. I remember all the good times we had together and watching the boys play soccer together. Bill was fun to be around and I so much missed y’all when y’all moved to Virginia. I know he is in heaven as he was a good husband and father. God bless you and your family.


  • The Bruce family

    March 1, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    Mr. “Bill” always had a smile on his face. I admired his high spirit and his positive outlook on life. I will miss him riding his wheel chair across the street to cheer on the kids when they played outside.
    Miss Gloria, Melanie, and Willie; you are in our my prayers. Our deepest condolences to you and the extended family.


  • Diane c Setterlund

    March 1, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    I have so many fun memories of “the cousins” in Mississippi with Cousin Bill. He was a fun happy guy with a wonderful personality. My thoughts go with his family as he has completed his earthly time. Love you!


  • Patty Jackson

    March 1, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    I’m so sad for you and your family Willie. We work together at STM and I love listening to Willies stories about his dad. I know Willie thought highly of him and his Mother. I admire him so much for the care he gives them. Always keep those memories close to your heart. Sounds like you have lots of kiddos to share stories with-how special. Willie, My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family, stay strong and know he is at Peace. Love, Patty


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