June 15, 1920 ~ January 21, 2002

Born in: Asheville, NC,
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Asheville ~ On Monday afternoon, January 21st, 2002, Dr. William Ray Griffin, Jr. passed away after a brief battle with brain cancer, at the age of 81, in the Hospice care center - Solace.

“Dr. Bill”, as his patients and friends affectionately knew him, was the son of Dr. William R. Griffin, Sr. and Edith Lutz Griffin. Born on June 15, 1920 here in the former Biltmore Hospital, he graduated from Lee H. Edwards High School in 1936, attended Mars Hill College and graduated from Duke University in 1940. From there he moved on to the Jefferson Medical College - University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Upon graduation in 1944, having enlisted in the US Army Medical Corps, he completed his internship and Psychiatric residency during his tour of duty at Army hospitals in Philadelphia, San Antonio, TX, and Battle Creek, MI. He attained the rank of Captain and was honorably discharged.

His service completed, he returned to Asheville in 1948 to join his father and uncle, Mark A. Griffin in the building of Appalachian Hall - a private psychiatric hospital housed in the former Kenilworth Inn in south Asheville. He continued his practice until his retirement as hospital President in 1987 when the hospital was sold to Psychiatric Institutes of America. Caring for patients with all ranges of mental illness, substance abuse and custodial care needs, he was universally loved and respected by his patients, employees and co-workers for nearly 40 years of devoted service.

He met his wife of 58 years, Hilda G. Stoker of Salisbury, while at Mars Hill and is survived by her and a daughter, Karen G. Tinsley and son-in-law, Steven L. Tinsley of Charlotte; a son, William R. Griffin, III and daughter-in-law, Alice W. Griffin of Asheville. In addition are his grandchildren, Kimberly Lynne Tinsley and Lee Griffin Tinsley, of Charlotte, Ashley Griffin Wineinger of Midland, TX and William Ward Griffin of Charlotte, and great-grandchildren, William Cole Wineinger and Hannah Kate Wineinger of Midland, TX. Also surviving are his sister, Virginia H. “Toni” Griffin of Lake Norman and his brother, Dr. Robert A. Griffin of Asheville.

Dr. Griffin was a lifelong member of Central United Methodist Church and belonged to the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Biltmore Forest Country Club, the Rhododendron Royal Brigade of Guards, Buncombe County and American Medical Associations. He served on the Board of Governors of Biltmore Forest Country Club and as President of the Lake Tahoma Corporation.

An avid sportsman, he loved the out-of-doors and sought to both enjoy its fruit and preserve its quality. He was an active supporter and very involved in both Ducks and Trout Unlimited organizations.

Funeral services will be conducted by Reverend Ed Graham at 2:00 PM Friday, January 25th, at Central United Methodist Church on Church Street in Asheville. Interment will follow in Calvary Episcopal Churchyard in Fletcher. The family will receive friends at the home of Bill and Alice Griffin on 23 Hampstead Road in north Asheville from 5:30 until 7:30 PM on Thursday, January 24th.

Pallbearers will be James E. Chapman, Dr. Charles E. Cummings, Thomas Hollifield, Dr. Cecil A. Pless, Jr., Robert A. Totty, William T. Sullivan, Robert S. Webb, Jr., and John L. Young.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Mountain Area Hospice, P.O. Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813 or to the charity of one’s choice.

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Guestbook

  1. Dr. Bill’s extended family at Lake Tahoma will sorely miss him.He was a delight and an inspiration to us all. The fish all loved him because although he caught many, he always released them back to the lake and Buck Creek. Bill was truly a gentle man. My prayers and sincere condolences go out to Hilda and the family.

    Reply
  2. Bill & Alice,
    I was over at Hospice on the old Highland Hospital property last weekend and noticed your note to Otis when I went by to see him. Your father was a very fine person. He did so much for our community. We will all miss him. Please know that Susan and I will keep your father and your family in our prayers!
    Tom McMahon

    Reply
  3. I played football with Bill and his sister, Virginia at the old Biltmore Forest Park in 1934 and 35. Bill was loved by everyone then and I know he was loved all of his life. My sympathies to his wife and family.

    Reply
  4. We will miss Bill and his retriever at the Lake. His knowledge of the fishing and hunting at Lake Tahoma is unsurpassed. His gentle manner calmed all who met him.The entire McMurray extend our sympathies to his family.

    Reply
  5. Dear Alice & Bill;
    I am so sorry about Dr. Griffin. I know how much you and the whole family loved him.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Betty Arnold

    Reply
  6. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Dr. Griffin at this time. He was a great blessing to us over the years. We will never forget him and his kind, loving, and caring ways.

    Reply
  7. Dear Karen & family,

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    Praying that our Lord will comfort you during this difficult time.

    Love,
    Aino

    Reply
  8. I worked with Dr. Bill at Applachian Hall for 18 years. I have a great feeling of loss that this wonderful and caring man is gone. He was such a gentle man with his patients and alway had a good word to say to the nurses. I want to convey my sympathy and prayers of comfort to his family.

    Sincerely,
    Kay Barber Radetski

    Reply
  9. I am sorry to hear of Dr. Bill’s passing. As a 27 year employee of the ‘Hall’,I have numerous fond memories of Dr. Bill. I am and always will be grateful to Dr. Bill for his influence on my life. I am grateful to have known and worked with him. I will continue to think of him often, as I do Dr.Bob, Dr. Mark and others. My prayers and best wishes go to the Griffin family. May God bless and comfort you all during this time of grief and loss. As you know, Dr. Bill touched many lives and I will remember him best for his commitment and love for his patients.

    Reply
  10. DR. BILL WAS A WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING. HE WAS GOOD, KIND AND LOVING. I KNOW HE WILL BE MISSED BY MANY. I KNOW MY LIFE WILL BE CHANGED FOREVER BY HIS GOING. KEEPING ALL OF HIS FAMILY AND LOVED ONE IN MY PRAYERS—MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL. JO NEAL

    Reply
  11. DR. BILL WAS A WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING. HE WAS GOOD, KIND AND LOVING. I KNOW HE WILL BE MISSED BY MANY. I KNOW MY LIFE WILL BE CHANGED FOREVER BY HIS GOING. KEEPING ALL OF HIS FAMILY AND LOVED ONE IN MY PRAYERS—MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL. JO NEAL

    Reply
  12. Watched your wonderful service to others through the eyes of David Turner of The Princess Anne Hotel. Also, my sister, Louise Patterson, kept me informed of your wonderful involvement in the community of Lake Tahoma.

    Reply
  13. I was a patient of Dr. Bill in early 1980s. Spent 3 months at Appalachian Hall and to this day am still benefiting from his and his staffs kind and caring care.
    Jesus said we would have trouble in this world. But he also provided men and women like Dr. Bill to encourage and help us thru it.
    Eternal peace and rest to you kind Doctor. To his extended family of today you have a rich legacy of goodness and memories to be remembered.

    Reply

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