Fairbanksan and loyal Chicago Blackhawks fan, Scott William Griffith passed away unexpectedly on July 10, 2018 at the age of 53 while hiking in the wilderness of Alaska with his wife Nancy.
Born April 8, 1965 to Charles and Beverly Griffith, he enjoyed growing up in Davenport, Iowa. It was there that he later met and fell, head over heels, for his lifelong love, Nancy Garrels. They married on February 11, 1989 and embarked on their lifetime together, building a family and filling it to the brim with love, humor, and adventure. And so many heartwarming memories! Like Top Gun-style haircuts. Scott and his sons regularly received “high and tights” together at the PX, with the promise of pizza and maybe even some cherry pie afterwards, if they were really lucky! Camping was always a good time, and Willow was a favorite destination. Fishing was more than a hobby. It was a mandate! And to say their wild sled rides down Haystack Mountain were frisky is an understatement. Boy Scout trips called Scott to chaperone everything from a hike over the Chilkoot Trail, to a 50 mile bike ride, to Lost Lake, to a 100-miles-in-one-day bike marathon around interior Alaska. He was always ready to go. On a road trip down the highway Scott, in the lead car, accidentally rolled his vehicle but landed back on the wheels, and was all ready to keep on driving. Jacob, having slept through the roll, woke to see Nancy, who’d been following them in her car, tearfully approaching the vehicle. He turned to Scott and cried, “Dad! Did you run over Mom?”
Nancy knew her husband as a man born to help anyone and everyone with any problem, picking up hitchhikers and stopping to help stranded travelers along the way to his favorite fishing holes along the Parks Highway. Jacob inherited Scott’s love of the great outdoors. Catching his first fish at age 5 on Birch Lake was quite a thrill. Levi has his father’s loyal streak and kind heart. He remembers his father’s admiration when he learned to drive a stick shift before Scott had taught him. Noah and his dad shared a love for hockey, and Noah learned that duct tape really does keep a truck going during road-trips to his out-of-town hockey games. They all remember Scott’s can-do attitude. When confronted with projects that Scott knew were way over his head, he’d reply, “Oh yeah! I’ve got this!” and then he’d go read every How-To book he could find, he’d persevere, and he’d ultimately complete the project. What a great model he was for his family! That’s what great dads do.
In his twenties, Scott enlisted in the United States Army to honorably serve our country. It was after his first deployment in Desert Storm that his supervisor announced a call for volunteers for an unnamed assignment. Being a natural team player, Scott raised his hand. He soon learned that he was to be a lifeguard on the Red Sea. Now that was a welcome surprise! He also served deployments in both Thailand and the Philippines. He earned both his Combat Infantryman and Expert Infantryman badges as well as being an Air Assault soldier. He went on to live in Alaska for over 20 years and was a service technician at Arctic Office Products.
Scott’s family was his pride and joy. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Griffith of Fairbanks, sons, Jacob, Levi, and Noah Griffith all of Fairbanks, daughter, Candace Dix of Davenport, Iowa, and brothers, Charles Griffith Jr, of East Moline, Illinois, Michael Griffith of Newton, Iowa and Joseph Griffith of Davenport, Iowa, as well as many nieces and nephews. Scott was preceded in death by his parents.
The family asks that memorial contributions be sent directly to either the Disabled American Veterans at secure.dav.org or The Harry & Sally Porter Heart and Vascular Center at fairbankshospitalfoundation.com
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday July 15 from noon to 3pm at the Dog Mushers Hall on Farmers Loop.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at blanchardfamilyfuneralhome.com