Herbert H. Griffin

August 8, 1938 ~ January 15, 2024 (age 85) 85 Years Old

Herbert Griffin Obituary

HERBERT H. GRIFFIN received his heavenly rest in January, 2024.  Herbert was a vibrant soul with a mischievous charm but could also be an enigma to those closest to him.  Herbert was born in Atlanta, GA to Ruby Davis Griffin and Horace Griffin in August 1938.  He lost his mother at an early age and was raised by his grandparents Susie Griffin and Jake Griffin in Atlanta, GA.  

His early education took place at Nashville Christian School in Nashville, TN.  Later as a teenager he got the call to Christ and spent some of his teen years traveling with Brother Marshall Keebles conducting revival meetings throughout the United States.  When asked why he wanted to become a minister, he replied he desired to preach like Brother Keebles. After high school, he received a scholarship to attend Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, TX. He belonged to the fraternity Tau Phi Kappa and the History Club. 

He was ordained at Southwestern in 1959, married Patsy Johnson after he graduated and received his first congregation in Delhi, LA. Soon after, he and Patsy had their first daughter, Nephiteria.  While ministering in Edna, TX,  he and Patsy welcomed their daughter Jocelyn into the world. The growing family later settled in Corpus Christi, TX where he ministered at Hillcrest Church of Christ in Corpus Christi, TX., welcoming three more children to the world, Halbert, Sir Cedric, and Mecia.  In the winter of 1968, the family moved to Austin, TX and Herbert pastored at Eastside Church of Christ until 1976. 

After his tenure at Eastside Church he became the song leader at Southside Church of Christ for a year.  Herbert had a wonderful and powerful bass singing voice and some members would bring their tape recorders to record his wonderful voice during song service. The song service was always lively and uplifting.

After meeting and marrying Debra Wallis, they had a son André.    For many years in Austin Herbert led a parallel career as a graphics clerk and staff assistant at the Texas Research League in downtown Austin. He used his gift of gab to convince the Research League to buy him a fancy motorcycle to “run errands and save money.”  He zoomed around downtown Austin dressed as the “Man in Black” with gleaming ebony boots and dark aviator shades.  If you hung out with him for a day it seemed he knew everyone in town and their individual stories…from the homeless guy on the corner to CEO’s to Texas legislators.  They in turn knew him on sight and greeted him with a smile, handshake, and a quick joke or story.

Herbert was a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan and a hardcore University of Texas Longhorn fan. He always dressed the part for any of the games.  Herbert loved gardening and cooking. He considered himself the consummate BBQ pitmaster.  He always had a recipe to share for any ingredient from vegetables to an armadillo!

The family thanks the staff at Brookdale Northwest where he spent his last four years.  Thank you for taking special care of him and encouraging him to participate in his health. He thoroughly enjoyed knowing and teasing the staff and visiting with anybody who entered the doors at Brookdale.  

Herbert is survived by his lovely wife Debra Wallis, daughter Nephiteria Griffin, daughter Jocelyn Griffin, son-in-law Joseph Jimenez, son Halbert Griffin and his lovely wife Martha Cecilia Griffin, daughter Mecia Griffin, son André Griffin-Wallis and his lovely wife Theresa Griffin. Herbert is also survived by a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Herbert was preceded in death by his son Sir Cedric Griffin, mother Ruby Davis Griffin, and father Horace Griffin. 

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Memorial Service
January 27, 2024

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Alice Taylor King Chapel of King-Tears Mortuary, Inc.
1300 East 12th Street
Austin, TX 78702


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