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Robert Blackwell Griffes June 20, 1929 ~ May 21, 2017

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Robert Blackwell Griffes June 20, 1929 ~ May 21, 2017

The Gates of Glory are well-oiled today, May 21, 2017 as “Grif” entered in.

Robert Blackwell Griffes was born in Chicago on July 30, 1929 to James Lincoln Griffes and Dorothy Blackwell Griffes residing in Berwyn, Ill.  He grew up and attended school pursuing his interests in carpentry and the outdoors.

As a young man, Bob became an Eagle Scout and a naturalist. He left the Chicago area at 17 to attend the University of Montana Forestry School.  He was active in the university community, planning the Forester’s Ball and working for J. Neil’s Lumber Co. in Libby to become an in-state student.

Bob signed up for ROTC and joined the U.S. Army after graduation for two years of active duty in Korea as a civil engineer.  He continued to serve as an army reservist for 16 years in various engineer units attaining the rank of Captain.

He came back to Montana to work for the Anaconda Company and Yellowstone Pine in Bozeman. There he met and married Patricia Lee Shirley, and began life as a family man with his son Michael A. Griffes and Aunt Iva Huffine in the Crenshaw Apartments.

Bob was hired by the Office of State Forester (now the DNRC) and moved to Kalispell.  The family grew to include a daughter Emma Jean Griffes-Koepplin.  They moved to a home in Missoula on Van Buren Street while the State Office was located in the Rattlesnake area. He relocated to Sunset Lane to follow his career as Deputy State Forester with the office on Spurgin Road.

Bob and Patti retired to Seeley Lake and built a cabin on the Double Arrow Ranch.  Together they traveled to 49 states and 11 countries, often accompanied by Patti’s sister Iva Jean Cutler (Neil) of Iowa and Bob’s brother, James E. Griffes (Mary) of Illinois.

He loved the views of mountains and trees from his homes, where he was loved by his children Mike (Lizz) and Jeanne (Robert) and grandchildren Joseph, Carolin and Michael.  He will be remembered as a kind, careful, patient forester and warrior.

The graveside service was held Friday, May 26 at the Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery at 1911 Tower in Missoula.

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