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William Louis Griffith

August 22, 1927 June 16, 2019
William Louis Griffith
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Obituary for William Louis Griffith

William Louis Griffith, 91, passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 16th. A native of Monroe City, Mo., Bill was born August 22, 1927. Bill attended the US Naval Academy as a Midshipman from 1945 to 1947. Bill graduated with first honors from the Missouri School of Mines in Rolla with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering (1949). He obtained his master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1952) and was awarded a doctorate in Environmental Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (1973).
Bill worked continuously for more than sixty years at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with the exception of service in the US Army as a Technical Specialist from 1954 to 1956. He retired in 2012 at the age of 85. During his long career, Bill published many technical papers and was co-inventor on seven patents during his career. Initially he worked at the Y-12 Gaseous Diffusion plant, where he co-authored a book on Uranium processing techniques. As ORNL’s mission evolved, his research interests shifted to renewable energy and renewable resource use; examples include improved production of bio-fuels, more efficient oil recovery and refining, and novel uses for wood fibers and waste products of wood processing. Bill was a member of TAPPI (Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry) for 30 years and was an active member of TAPPI’s research management committee and served as chairman of the committee for a term. On two occasions, Bill was recognized by R&D magazine as part of a team responsible for creating one of the top 100 new technologies of the year. After retiring from ORNL, Bill remained active in research until his death; consulting with fellow researchers and attending scientific conferences.
In his spare time, Bill was a farmer, woodworker, and enjoyed cooking cuisines from all over the world. By far his greatest passion was traveling. He and his wife Donna circled the globe together, reaching all seven continents and over 100 countries. Favorite adventures included hand feeding kangaroos, wombats, and Tasmanian devils in Tasmania; riding camels in the Saharan desert; climbing sand dunes in Namibia; and trekking in the Himalayas.
Bill is preceded in death by his first wife Betty Jo Cochran. He is survived by his current wife Donna Woodhall-Griffith, Flower Mound, Texas; his daughter Kim (Cliff Perkins) Griffith, Saint Petersburg, Florida; grandchildren Erin (Alex) Stone, Virginia Beach, Virginia; Kelly Perkins, Saint Petersburg, Florida; and great-grandchildren Rosemary and Virginia Stone. He is also survived by step-children Lindsay Rice, Westland, Michigan; Michael Woodhall, Johnson City, Tennessee; and Tonya (John) Bradley, Grapevine, Texas; and step-grandchildren Daniel Woodhall, Kelsey and Amanda Noteman, Peighton and Logan Powers, and Mae, Camille, and Brianna Bradley.
A celebration of his life will be held at Calhoun’s Event Center, 100 Melton Lake Peninsula, Oak Ridge, on Sunday July 14th. The family will receive friends and family from 2 pm until the celebration starts at 3 pm. Casual dress preferred. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to World Wildlife Fund or contributions to scholarship funds or academic departments at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville or the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Arrangements by Weatherford Mortuary. An on-line guest book can be signed at www.weatherfordmortuary.com.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Sunday

14

Jul

2:00 PM 7/14/2019 2:00:00 PM - 3:00 PM 7/14/2019 3:00:00 PM
Calhouns

100 Melton Lake Peninsula
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

Meet in the Event Center

Calhouns
100 Melton Lake Peninsula Oak Ridge 37830 TN
United States

Celebration of Life

Sunday

14

Jul

3:00 PM 7/14/2019 3:00:00 PM
Calhouns

100 Melton Lake Peninsula
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

Meet in the Event Center

Calhouns
100 Melton Lake Peninsula Oak Ridge 37830 TN
United States
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