PALMYRA — Paul C. Griffith, 58, died January 28, 2014, at his home after a valiant three-year battle with multiple myeloma. He found peace surrounded by the love of his family. Paul was an intelligent, creative and talented man who pursued his many interests with a passion.
Whether it was building and playing hammered dulcimers, learning to play golf with modern clubs and attacking the course with his “hickory sticks” or locating and restoring an Oliver of Adrian machine for his “shop,” he thrived on the challenges each endeavor brought.
Paul’s talent really emerged in his success in the world of muzzle loading rifles. He not only was a skilled shooter but also a master gun builder, building approximately 150 guns over the years. Paul holds various national shooting records at the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association matches in Friendship, Ind. Additionally, he won the Alvin York Memorial Chunk Gun Shoot in Pall Mall, Tenn., a record six times; a record, it has been said, that will never be matched.
In recent years, his interest turned from building/shooting guns to building rifle barrels for chunk and bench guns. Paul designed and built a rifling machine that enabled him to create championship gun barrels and took a great deal of pride in watching “his boys” win matches with his creations. In his words, “we took over the chunk gun world.” Born March 29, 1955, Paul was the son of Harlan and Carolyn (Englehart) Griffith.
Raised in Ogden Center, he attended Blissfield Schools, graduating in 1973. He worked for his brother, Neil, as an electrician at Neil’s Electric for 25 years, then “semi-retired” to work in his own shop focusing on gun building and machinist work. In 2007, he found a new passion, working for Oliver of Adrian. He truly loved the time he spent “with the boys at the shop.”
Paul and Cathleen Sweet met in 1970 when her family moved to Ogden Center, became a couple in 1971, and were married October 11, 1980. They were high school sweethearts for 43 years.
Survivors include his wife, Cathleen; brothers Neil (Deborah) Griffith and Thomas (Kristi) Griffith, both of Adrian; sister Julie (David) Goll of Blissfield; brothers-in-law Steven (Randa) Sweet of Toledo, Ohio, and Thomas (Kathy) Sweet of Austin, Texas. Paul is also survived by his nephews, Nicolas (Dawn) Griffith of Plainwell, Mich., and David Sweet of Dallas, Texas; and his nieces, Amanda (Will) Atkins of Chicago, Ill., Lauren Griffith of Ypsilanti, and Elizabeth and Emily Sweet of Austin, Texas. His parents and a sister, Margo, preceded him in death. Special thanks to Hospice of Lenawee for the compassionate and loving care Paul received from everyone, especially Bonnie and Catherine, and to a true angel, Cheryl McGovern, whose support and skill made it possible for Paul’s last days to be at home.
The celebration of Paul’s life was on Sunday, February 2, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home in Blissfield. Visitation hours were on Saturday, February 1, 2014, from 1-8 p.m. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.andersonfuneralservices.com. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Lenawee. Envelopes are available at Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield.