VLS Mourns William E. Griffin '59
It is with great sadness that we share the loss of a classmate, William E. Griffin '59.
Griffin, 79, passed away on Monday, September 1, 2012 at his home in Yonkers, NY. Retiring as Chairman of Hudson Valley Bank earlier this year in May, Griffin was both a founder and the longest serving Chairman of the Board after 22 active years. In honor of his retirement, a building at Hudson Valley's headquarters in Yonkers, NY was named the "Griffin Pavilion."
"He was a remarkable man and an extraordinary leader, who guided the bank's impressive growth and success over the past 40 years," said James J. Landy, the former President and CEO, who succeeded Mr. Griffin as Chairman. "He leaves an indelible legacy and will be missed by the entire Hudson Valley family and the community."
Griffin received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Manhattan College in 1954. After serving 2 years with the U.S. Army in Germany, he attended Villanova University School of Law graduating in 1959, and was admitted to the NY Bar in 1960.
He and his wife, Ollie, have been longtime supporters of Villanova Law School. Most recently, Villanova Law School named its room for faculty meetings and lectures the William E. Griffin Faculty Center in recognition of their generosity to the Law School’s building campaign.
He served as Research Counsel to New York Lieutenant Governor Malcolm Wilson and was elected as a member of the Westchester County Board of Supervisors from 1963 through 1965.
He practiced Corporate and Business Law in Yonkers, N.Y. and later founded Griffin, Coogan, Blose and Sulzer in Bronxville, where he served as president. Griffin was one of 10 local businessmen who founded Hudson Valley Bank in Yonkers in 1972, where he served as director since its inception in 1972, and became Chairman of the Board in 1990. Under his Chairmanship, Hudson Valley Bank grew from an approximately $400 million company with 10 branches to a more than $2.8 billion company. The bank today has 36 branches and has expanded its reach from its Yonkers roots throughout Westchester, Rockland, NYC and CT.
Griffin was a member of the President's Council for the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation. He was President of the Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation and a member of the Development Committee of St. Joseph's Seminary. He served as a director of many charitable organizations, including Northern Ireland Children's Enterprise (NICE), the Monsignor Robert Fox Memorial Shelter for battered women, and the Hudson Valley National Foundation. He served as a Knight of Malta of the Roman Catholic Church. He was a former President of the Society of Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Westchester Chapter.
In addition to his wife, Margaret Olive O'Hara, he is survived by his 3 children, Colleen, Daniel (Kathleen) and Katherine Griffin, and 6 grandchildren, Shannon, William, Jack, Michael, Sean and Brian; his brother Gary Griffin, sister Arlene Meyer, and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Joseph's Seminary, 201 Seminary Avenue, Yonkers, N.Y. 10704.