Obituary for Bruce Griffith



We are sad that Bruce has lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, but relieved that he is finally pain free.  He is missed by his wife Margaret (Ormerod), son James and his wife Sarah (Kelman), his grandchildren Gwen, Eli and Ava, his sister Connie (Rowe) and husband Bob, and of course Stella, the furry criminal.

He leaves behind a bevy of in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends and former colleagues who will remember him for his gentleness, his quirky sense of humour, and his loyalty.

Brittle Bone Disease kept Bruce in and out of hospitals as a child and resulted in his need for canes throughout his life.  But that never stopped him from enjoying summers at Merrywood Camp and on his grandparents’ farm at Crosby, or playing road hockey with his school friends (always the goalie), and as a teenager working in his Dad’s bowling alley, the Bowladrome,setting pins.?

He attended Rideau Public School, LCVI and Queen’s University, earning an Honours BA in History and then a Law Degree.  In 1978 he was Called to the Bar, set up a solo law practice, married Margaret and bought a first house in downtown Kingston.

He loved Kingston but was especially drawn to the water, owning a sailboat for a few years, and moving to a house on the St. Lawrence River.  He could spend hours just watching the activity on the water or in the surrounding forest.

The best years of his law career came when he joined the office of the Crown Attorney in 1989, and the pinnacle was being appointed Crown Attorney in 2000.  He would light up when talking about life in the courtroom, where he believed that common sense was as important as legal knowledge.  He believed that his difficult early years made him “more appreciative of the human condition”, and this came through in his empathy for those caught up in the justice system.

In retirement he continued to be active on the board ofFrontenac Mental Health, having seen firsthand how those with mental health issues frequently clash with the justice system, often with tragic results.

He and Margaret travelled frequently in the final years, most recently on a trans-Pacific cruise in April.  His favourite trip was a driving holiday in France and Belgium where he was able to visit many of the historical sites that he so enjoyed reading about. So many wonderful memories.

A private service will be held on Saturday September 9, but friends are welcome to drop into The Iron Duke on Wellington Street in Kingston, between 2:30 – 4:30, to share a story with the family.

His final care has been entrusted to Direct Cremation Services, and we welcome your stories about Bruce on their website.

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