Michael Griffith: Rest in Peace

I was saddened to hear of the death of Michael Griffith on Monday of the past week.  I met Michael in 1977 while we were freshmen at Saint Joseph's Preparatory School.  He was a smooth student from West Philly who also played a musical instrument.  Mike and I did not have many classes together.  We hung out by way of the Black Culture Club and Prep parties.  Mike drove me home from a prom one night because he had access to a car and I was on SEPTA.  His wife was working at Cigna when my wife was working there.  He had two children.  He was a Temple University graduate. I hear that his daughter is a student at Princeton.  I know she is taking his loss hard.

When Mike was working at Price Waterhouse and I used to see him downtown occasionally.  He was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity and I am quite sure that his fraternity brothers are shocked also.  Mike turned fifty-three in March and was living life to the fullest.  I admired the friendship that he had with Derrick Redcross.  Those two were super tight.  From haircuts to just hanging out, they had a tight bond.  Derrick told me that Mike wasn't feeling well after a business trip to Chicago.  He succumbed after not feeling well.  Mike had met my sister in Law, Mona Smith, through a workshop on IT Auditing.  I never knew such careers existed.  He was doing his thing career wise.

Mike, Derrick and I, with our wives, attended James Fisher's wedding a few years ago.  It was a great time.  Fish is the same age as we are.  He won't turn 53 until November though.  We hung out again last year on St. Joe's campus and had a ball over a few drinks.  We met at the Rose Tattoo a few years before that.  We were determined not to get together just for funerals.  I treasure my Friends that I go back years with.  It is kind of hard to make new friendships at this point int time in life.  As I look forward to my 53rd birthday in July, God willing, I give praise for my life and my health.  I am addressing my high blood pressure through medication and diet changes.  I do want to live to see my children grow older.  I don't take it for granted though.  I will miss you Mike!!  Rest in Peace.

P.S. Mike's Home Going service was worthy of a Dignitary.  His Omega Psi Phi Brothers numbered at least 150.  The church was packed to the hilt.  I saw a number of Friends from the Prep.  God Bless You Mike,

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