Esther McNeil Griffin (93) of Hawleyton/Binghamton, daughter of the late Hannah Mose and Frank J. McNeil, died December 5th of complications from COVID-19. She was predeceased by her husband of 48 years, Frank J. Griffin, and sister, Eleanor Wipfler, and is survived by children Kim Griffin of Cordoba Spain, Kristi Griffin (Mark) of Boston, Kelly Wagstaff (Kevin) of Binghamton, and Michael Griffin (Sandy) of Pittsburgh. She also leaves sister-in-law Sister Raymond Joseph of Rochester, siblings Sibyl Mose of Baldwinsville and Hugh & Janyce Mose of State College PA, and niece Sharie Jones of Elmira. Esther will be sorely missed by her 10 beloved grandchildren, Patrick, Colin, Jodi (Ed), Mandy (Pat), Brianna (Flynn), Bianca, Brandie (Brandon), Connor, Kealy, and Trinity, as well as 9 great-grandchildren, Alex, Max, Sean, Sarah, Luke, Avery, Colton, Wolf, and Peyton.
Mrs. Griffin came to the Binghamton area in 1949, earning degrees in education from SUNY Geneseo and College of Misericordia, and was a long-time special education teacher, school librarian (Brookside Elementary), and administrator, retiring in 1985 as Resource Center Director at BT-BOCES. She was a pioneer of occupational education for the developmentally disabled. Esther has taught, written, and lectured on genealogy and family history, and was editor of the Southern Tier Genealogy Society’s newsletter. As a Ross Park Zoo volunteer and Docent for 25 years, she taught countless students to understand and appreciate animals, and authored several children’s books about Ross Park ‘residents’. Mrs. Griffin and husband Frank were founding members of the Conservative Party in Broome County, and took great pride in community involvement, beginning with a leadership role in the infamous “Hawleyton telephone fight” of the early 60’s.
In accordance with Esther’s wishes, a memorial service and celebration of life will be held at Ross Park Zoo when the weather is warmer, flowers are blooming, zoo babies are in abundance, and family and friends can get together without worry of covid. Express condolences online at www.SavageFS.com. As an active enthusiast of the zoo, she asks that anyone desiring to do so remember her with a contribution to the Ross Park Zoo. The family would like to thank Dr. Ahmad and the many caring staff of Elizabeth Church Manor and St Louise Manor, for all their compassion and kindness to mom. Arrangements were entrusted to SAVAGE-DeMarco Funeral Service.
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