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Celebrating Life for JoAnn Royce Griffin

JoAnn Royce Griffin
June 20, 1931 – June 10, 2022

On June 10, 2022, JoAnn left this earth and entered eternity where she was joined by her parents, Arthur and Elma Hays, her brother, Arthur Hays Jr., and her two husbands, David Royce and Malcolm Griffin.

Jo Ann Royce Griffin.

At the time of her death, she resided in Carmel Village in Clovis, California. Prior to living in Carmel Village, JoAnn’s home for 50 years was in North Fork, California until August 2015.

With a heart full of compassion, JoAnn Royce Griffin made it her mission in life to give voice to those who had none. She had a love for the downtrodden and less fortunate, whether it was an animal or a person. When she saw a need, she always did what she could to meet it.

JoAnn was born on June 20, 1931 in Quinter, Kansas, the daughter of Art and Elma Hays. JoAnn grew up on a farm near Exeter, Kansas. The start of her life during the Great Depression affected her for the rest of her life. His family was extremely poor and they raised all their food. JoAnn learned the value of hard work from an early age with the many tasks she was responsible for including: sewing, caring for the chickens, dogs and cats, milking the cows, gardening, helping to plow the garden , pull out the weeds, and water the garden with a bucket of water from the nearby stream.

For many years of her childhood, she lived without electricity at home. Although her family had a car, they could not always afford repairs, so when the family needed to go into town, they often took the wagon and horse team. She first attended Exeter Elementary School, which had only two classrooms, two teachers and an outbuilding for a toilet. She later attended Independence Elementary School where, in eighth grade, JoAnn played on the boys’ softball team.

In high school, she played softball, volleyball, and became a cheerleader. She worked at the telephone company as an operator after school and on Saturdays. JoAnn then attended Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield Missouri to train as a teacher.

During JoAnn’s freshman year at college, she met David Royce, her future husband. David and JoAnn were married at the age of 19 in August 1950. They both pursued their love of teaching and became career teachers. JoAnn and David had four children. After David’s death in 1978, JoAnn met Malcolm Griffin and in 1986 they married. Around this time, she also became stepmother to five of Mal’s children.

JoAnn had a love for people, animals, travel and life. She was active in the organization Victim Offenders Reconciliation Program (VORP) and participated in the children’s education program, the Friendship Circle.

She was also involved with the NF Thrift Store, fundraising missions, Heifer Project and Mother’s Voice, a program that was one of JoAnn’s proudest accomplishments. She and others visited women in prison and helped them read stories to their children on a tape recorder. The tapes and storybooks were then mailed to the children so they could listen to the stories in their mother’s voice. When it comes to pets, JoAnn has always had an open door policy. She loved animals and was ready to welcome anyone who needed a home.

JoAnn will be remembered by many locally and abroad for her lively yet peaceful personality, saying how she felt and having a joke or two that made everyone in the room laugh. The children she taught at North Fork Elementary School will always remember Mrs. Griffin, their kindergarten teacher, and later thank her for the way she contributed to their lives.

JoAnn leaves behind her four children, Mark, Rebecca, Beth and Francey; four stepchildren, Steven, Christine, David and Beverly; nine grandchildren, Hannah, Hailey, Bailey, Brandon, Ryan, Sophia, Max, Royce and Amanda; seven step-grandchildren, Scott Varney, Nathan Griffin, Angela Rodgers, Jennifer Shattuck, Steven Griffin Jr., Jodi Griffin Ozohoski and Malarie Griffin; and daughter-in-law Brenda Royce and sons-in-law Bob Johnson and Michael Gonzalez.

A celebration of life service will be held at United Japanese Christian Church at Clovis at 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 30.

Image of funeral flowers.

Always in our hearts.