Richard Bulen Griffin Jr.


Died May 19, 2002

College: Silliman

Widow: Mrs. Sheila Griffin Pashayan
2200 Foxhall Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007-1144

Children: Gerald, 1968; Richard, 1970; Louisa, 1971

Immediately after graduating, Dick joined the Navy as an Ensign and served on active duty for four years. His ship was the USS Advance, which was based in the Far East, and he saw some duty in Vietnam. He thoroughly enjoyed his Navy experience and was proud to serve his country.

Returning to Washington, D.C., in 1966 he pursued graduate studies in International Affairs at American University. In 1967 he married Sheila Latrobe Smith, whose father and brothers were graduates of Yale College and Yale Law School. Dick and Sheila had three children: Gerard, Yale College and Yale Law School; Richard, Georgetown and Kellogg; and Louisa, St. John’s College. There are nine grandchildren.

Dick’s first job was as an Assistant to NASA‘s first Administrator, James Webb, followed by a political appointment as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Transportation in the Nixon Administration. This was followed by a job with the Pullman Corporation in its Washington and Paris offices. Eventually, Dick opened his own firm, RBG Associates, representing various transportation companies and taking a leading role in the “buy American” issues.

Yale’s influence in Dick’s life can be appreciated by his Navy service, his intellectual curiosity and pursuits (including his love of science fiction), and his lifetime love of singing songs from his SOB days at Yale. The friendships he developed at his beloved Fence Club continued throughout his life. In facing the diagnosis of inoperable pancreatic cancer in October of 1999 after a barge trip in France celebrating his 60th birthday, Dick stunned all by his grace and fortitude that comprised his final years. On May 19, 2002, he died a valiant and Christian death, a fine son of Yale.

— by Sheila Griffin Pashayan