The Commerce Journal


April 30, 2012


De Queen, Ark. — Mary Melinda Margaret Simon Griffin, formerly of Commerce, died April 20, 2012, in De Queen, Ark.

Mrs. Griffin was born Jan. 6, 1925, in Bellvue Hospital in New York City, the third of six children born to Newfoundland parents William  and Elizabeth Simon. She was a superb seamstress, did great crocheting and knitting, and was a great cook, especially of pies, homemade bread and Christmas fudge. She said she was not just a homemaker, but was a “household executive,” and most of all she was a wonderful and loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Having been born in the U.S., she was an American citizen, and as her parents were from Newfoundland, a protectorate of England, she was considered a Newfoundland citizen as well as a British citizen. In 1949, when Newfoundland became a province of Canada, she became a Canadian citizen.

As a child Mrs. Griffin was taken from New York to Kippens, Newfoundland, where she lived until she met and married a U.S. soldier, Pfc. D.N. Griffin. He was stationed  at nearby Harmon Field Air Base; they were married Oct. 7, 1941.

Mrs. Griffin loved to play bridge and played for more than 50 years She also loved to entertain and was so much the “life of the party.” She decorated her home for all holidays and seasons. She was a member of the Sevier County Historical Society and volunteered at the museum in De Queen, Ark., for many years. She was raised a Catholic, and for the last 30 years regularly attended the Methodist church in Horatio, Ark.

Survivors include her husband of 70 years, Dr. Daude N. Griffin of Horatio, Ark.; one son, René Griffin of Rockwall; one daughter, Cheryl Boyd of Tyler; one granddaughter, Debra Boyd of Horatio; one grandson, Caylon Miller of Dallas; two great-grandsons, Tyron and Tyler Tanksley; two great-granddaughters, Demeshia and Lemeshia Tanksley; two great-great-grandchildren; one brother, Emille Simon, and one sister, Marie Marche, both of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and a number of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by an infant son, Robert Francis Griffin; her parents; two brothers, Billy and Finton; and one sister, Isabel Breen.

Graveside services were held at 2 p.m., April 21, at Horatio Cemetery under the direction of Wilkerson Funeral Home in De Queen, Ark.

Online condolences may be made at and


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