Leatha Ann Griffis

September 15, 1923 - February 8, 2016
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Rockford, IL

Leatha Ann Griffis, 92, passed away peacefully in her home in Rockford, on Monday, February 8, 2016. A private celebration of life service and burial will be held at Belvidere Cemetery. She was born September 15, 1923 in Belvidere, daughter of the late Crawford and Leota (nee Miller) Short. On October 10, 1945, she married Wendell E. Griffis, son of Owen and Thelma Griffis of Caledonia. Leatha was a graduate of Belvidere High School, attended Northern Illinois State College in DeKalb and taught in rural schools of Boone County before raising her family. Along the way, she went back to school and earned her real estate broker’s license; she loved putting families and homes together. Leatha also attended Rock Valley College, Rockford, graduating from the nursing program with an RN degree. She enjoyed the busy practice at the Belvidere Clinic and also the hospital pace at Highland Hospital in Belvidere. Nurturing and caring for others was her nature, her first impulse, always. In retirement, Leatha was an extraordinary grandmother and great-grandmother; an avid gardener and birder. She was always outside in her beautiful yard; planting, weeding and feeding.

Leatha is survived by her children,  Katherine (John) Jurczak of Huntington Beach, CA, Wendy (Joe Maltry) Simmons of Rockford; her brothers, Lee (Phyllis) Short, William Crawford (Sherron) Short of Bloomington, IL; sister, Betty (Delbert) Briggs of Belvidere; 5 grandchildren, Ted, Derek, Rhonda, Brian, and Michael; 13 great-grandchildren; son-in-law, Ron Simmons, daughter-in-law, Pennee L. Brotsche Griffis of Aurora; several nieces and nephews, many special neighbors, friends, and her beloved dog, Weezie.

Leatha is preceded in death by her parents, Crawford and Leota; her husband, Wendell; her son, Kenneth and grandson, Keith A. Griffis.

The family wished to extend their gratitude to the OSF Hospice and Palliative Care Center for their exceptional and loving support in her final days.

Memorial contributions in her name may be made to OSF Hospice, 5501 E. State Street, Rockford, IL 61108.

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Service Information

A private celebration of life service and burial will be held at Belvidere Cemetery.

Memorial Information

Memorial contributions in her name may be made to OSF Hospice, 5501 E. State Street, Rockford, IL 61108.


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Timeline for Leatha Ann Griffis

Born: September 15, 1923
Died: February 8, 2016

Condolences for Leatha Ann Griffis

Anderson Funeral & Cremation Services

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Anderson Funeral & Cremation Services.


Bobbie Glaser Eicksteadt posted on 2/11/16

I worked with Leatha at Piggly Wiggly.She worked in produce and I was a cashier. She also hosted a ridal shower for me when they lived in a home in he vicinity of where Mc Donalds is now. She was a special friend to me. Prayers to the family.


rick lutzow posted on 2/11/16

I would like her family to know that Leatha was one special lady. We were neighbors with her and Wendall for numerous years. We had the pleasure of raising two kids with her being our neighbor. She so enjoyed our children as much as our children enjoyed her. We moved away when our children were about seven and five. There wasn't a birthday or holiday that went by that they didn't receive a card from her with a dollar or two in it. Our kids are now 18 and 20 and they still remember Leatha. I'm sure when they hear the news of her passing they will reflect back on their younger years and the special place that she had in their heats. God bless your family. Sincerely Rick Lutzow


Elaine Murphy posted on 2/12/16

Leatha, was a neighbor of ours, we enjoyed talking over the back fence, she always inquired how the G/, daughters were doing, even sent a gift for our 3rd G/daughter arrival in CA.Last time we talked she always inquired about my husbands health. Will miss seeing her sitting outside in the sun, and a waving to her. RIP BOB& Elaine Murphy.