Geraldine Opal Varnes Griffis, 77, after an incredibly loving, fruitful, abundant, purposeful, memorable, and driven life, gloriously entered heaven on January 09, 2021.
Geraldine was a passionate, vivacious lady who loved fervently and was many things to many people. But first and foremost, she was a servant of Jesus Christ. She loved her Lord and Savior and this was reflected in every area of her life. When she was asked recently what accomplishment she was most thankful for, she replied, “That I let my light shine!” Geraldine Griffis was truly a light for Christ to countless people in her life.
Geraldine Griffis was for people, especially the underdog. She loved teaching counseling and guiding.
Geraldine Griffis began her earthly journey on March 21, 1943. Most importantly, she met Jesus Christ as her Savior at the age of 7 at Raiford Road Church in Macclenny, Florida. She attended schools in Baker and Union Counties and then met the love of her life, Alvin Griffis at age 14. She married Alvin at age 15 on January 24, 1959 and then began her amazing adult life. The titles of “wife,” “Mama,” and later “Granny” were always at the forefront of everything as her exciting, determined life unfolded. She set her sights on making a difference in the lives of others and never looked back.
She began her first career at Lake Butler Apparel where she was a seamstress and simultaneously attended high school at night and graduated with high honors from Union County Adult School; she was graduated from Lake City Community College and the University of Florida with high honors. After receiving her teaching certificate she started her second career as a teacher. After teaching various grades for many years, Geraldine went back to school and received two master’s degrees from the University of North Florida. After that, she helped countless students as a guidance counselor, reading coach, and administrator. Next, Geraldine began her third career as the owner of Geraldine’s Salon in Raiford (really a continuation of her counseling ministry while helping people look their best.)
Mrs. Griffis is survived by her husband Alvin A. Griffis; 2 sons: Pastor Randall A. Griffis, Sr. (Darlene), and Gary Franklin Griffis (Sheila); Grandchildren: Randall Griffis, Jr. (Terissa/Fancy), Joel Combs (Brittany), Jonathan Griffis (Cindy), Sarah-Anne Albritton(Jonathan), Cody Griffis, Gary-Nathan/Nate Griffis (Devin), Andrew-Paul/AP Griffis, Addie-Kaye Yarbrough(Lawson) and Tyler-Clayton/TC Griffis; Great-Grandchildren: Tyreshia Archer, Tayla Archer, Callie Combs, Aaron Griffis, Kenley Combs, Anderson Griffis, Dylan Griffis, and Alton Griffis. one Brother, Calvin Varnes (Lorraine) of Conyers, GA and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Her parents, Rev. and Mrs. Andrew and Mollie Varnes; one sister, Viola Crews; and 3 brothers, Carlton Varnes and 2 infants, predecease Mrs. Griffis.
Geraldine was an avid supporter of her husband, children and grandchildren! She loved attending concerts, football, volleyball, and basketball games, recitals, church revivals, graduations and award ceremonies. She would often travel many miles to attend these events.
Mrs. Griffis was an active member of New River New Congregational Methodist Church for over 55 years, where she served as a Sunday School teacher, church secretary, choir director, ladies auxiliary director, and director of many events and activities.
Geraldine immersed herself in many endeavors. She was accomplished in singing gospel music, cooking, canning, making jellies and preserves, photography, crafts, sewing and gardening. She didn’t just make jellies and preserves; she made it a community affair and brought joy to many people by sharing them. She didn’t just cook, but loved the joy and community it brought to others.
Some of Geraldine’s loves were the Union County Tigers, Florida Gators, Union County Band, choral music, travelling, and of course…. Elvis!
Geraldine Griffis was a lover of people and Jesus Christ. She loved life and those who knew and loved her will be eternally grateful that she took us along with her on the journey!!
Visitation for Mrs. Griffis will be from 6-8 PM Friday, January 15, 2021 from 6-8 PM at Archer-Milton Funeral Home in Lake Butler Florida. Funeral Services will be held at New River New Congregational Methodist Church at 11 AM on Saturday January 16, 2021 (23999 NW 83rd Ave, Raiford, FL.) Internment will follow the service at Sapp Cemetery in Raiford, FL. Services will be officiated by her sons, Randall and Gary Griffis. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Archer-Milton Funeral Home, Lake Butler. 386-496-2008 www.archerfuneralhome.com
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