Nellie Mae Bailey Griffith
October 8, 1928 to January 20, 2022
Nellie Griffith, of Kelso, Washington, passed into her heavenly home while residing at Little Prairie Home in Vancouver, Washington. She was a resident of Kelso for 60 years. She and husband, Faye Griffith, lived in the house they built in east Kelso on P.G. Sweet Road, where they raised their three daughters, Debbie, Kathy and Cheryl.
Mom was born (Dixon) and raised in Lucas, South Dakota on a farm-ranch that survived the Great Depression. Her father, Edward Bailey, was a college graduate in agriculture who was known throughout the state for his progressive terrace farming techniques. Her mother, Merle Bailey who was a teacher, became a hard-working farmer's wife raising 6 kids and feeding the hired crews. Nellie has told many tales of farm life, riding horses, herding cattle and tilling the ground while trying to control the farm mule. Nellie was an honor student at Gregory High School and was awarded a State 4H Award in sewing that sent her to the Chicago National 4H Conference. After high school, Nellie left for Los Angeles, California and worked as a Teletype Operator at Republic Steel. She proved to be quite adventurous and successfully acquired her flight license piloting in Southern California.
Dancing at Figueroa Ballroom in LA she met the love of her life, Faye Griffith, whom she was married to for 37 years before his death in 1987.
Nellie was a strong, dedicated worker who exhibited total determination. She had a lengthy career with Standard Dairy in Longview, serving as a bookkeeper. With her husband, Faye, the two opened and operated Griff’s Music Center in west Kelso for several years.
Music was a large part of family life and Faye convinced Nellie to be the 'rhythm guitarist' for their band, the Vers-A-Tones. They were known for many years locally playing at the Eagles Club, Elks Club, and many more dance halls and events. Later, Nellie worked for Pacific Pioneer Insurance Agency in accounting, receiving honors and recognitions, until she retired in 1995.
Volunteering was important to Nellie. She was an integral part of the Longview/Kelso Senior Program CAP; volunteered at FISH coordinating services; and as a member of Kelso Baptist Church, she served as Clerk for several years. She also sang in the choir and assisted at bazaars.
Our mom enjoyed many aspects of life, but music was in her heart, shared by her husband, and passed down to all her children and grandchildren. She was active in TOPS and Bible Studies, and enjoyed outings with family and friends. Couponing was a hobby because she loved to 'save' and 'get deals'. Mom was an avid game player and is quoted saying, "..•every American should know how to play poker!" All her kids and grandkids know the game!
Our mom, Nellie, carries on the ancestral line through: Daughters; Debbie Grove (Scott), Kathy Grisso (John), and Cheryl Underwood (Dennis recently deceased); Grandchildren; Kimberly Burris (Keenan), Wayne Grove, Andrew Grove (Hanna), Amy Palmer (Ryan), Javin Grove (Jessica), Kristy Pisarczyk (Todd), Kevin DeGraw, Jenny Wishard (Adam), Brian DeGraw (Brett), Ryan Scrichfield (Tonya), Kelly Scrichfield (Sarah), Natalie Sutton (John), Mark Scrichfield (Jessica); Jeff Grisso, Marianne Gunderson (Joe). She was also blessed with
34 great grandchildren and 1great-great grandchild. She is survived by one sister, Jennie Lubbers of Firestone, CO. Nellie was preceded in death by her husband, Faye (Griff) Griffith; Brothers; Eddie Bailey, Jim Bailey, and Jack Bailey and; Sister; Ellen Bartling.
A Memorial Service will be held at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Longview,
Washington on Feb 5th at 11 am, a reception/lunch will follow the service.
Covid protocols will be in place.