Site Navigation Menu Navigation
X Close

John Griffith

January 20, 1928 - March 25, 2018

SALEM - John Spaulding Griffith, of Salem, Oregon, passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 25, 2018.  He was 90 years old.
     John was born in Salem, Oregon in the same home in which he lived for his entire life. He graduated frown Salem High School in 1947 and then attended Willamette University. In 1953, he obtained his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Dental School at the University of Oregon (now Oregon Health Sciences University). Following dental school, he served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force working as a dentist stationed in England. It was during his time in London that John’s lifelong love of travel began, as John became friends with many pilots whom John would accompany on training flights around Europe.
     After three years in the U.S. Air Force, John returned home to Salem to join his uncle, John James Griffith, in the family dental practice that had been started by his grandfather, John Clayton Griffith. For the next 35 years, John served the Salem community as a dentist in family practice before retiring in 1991.
     During his retirement, John traveled extensively throughout the world, including a trip to Egypt where he cruised the Nile River with his great- nephews, Michael and Stephen Copenhaver. John also loved to volunteer his time toward the causes most important to him, including Our House of Portland, the Willamette Heritage Center, and training his beloved pet, Maggie, as a registered therapy to help serve the needs of patients at Salem Hospital.
     John had a lifelong interest in the arts, was an avid gardener, and always enjoyed entertaining his many friends. He will be remembered as vibrant , generous, and kind man who loved to share his rich and varied experiences from around the world.
     John is survived by his sister, Lorah Kate Copenhaver; his niece, Karen (Mike) Prahl; his three nephews, John (Dana), Bill (Cathy), and Jim (Connie) Copenhaver; numerous great-nephews and great-nieces; and countless other friends and family members who will miss him dearly.

     In accordance with John’s wishes, there will be no public memorial. A private memorial is planned for Saturday, March 31, 2018. John will be interred at City View Cemetery in Salem, Oregon. In lieu of flowers, contributions in John's memory may be made to the Willamette Humane Society at 4246 Turner Rd. SE, Salem, OR 97317, (503) 585-5900, or

Sign The Guest Book

Add your condolences, memories, photo, or prayers in the area below. Thank you for sharing.

After submitting your guest book entry, it will undergo a brief review by the Virgil T. Golden staff to ensure that it's not spam and it's appropriate for the context of this obituary. Once this review is complete, your obituary will be posted publicly on this page.

Guest Book Entries

There are currently no guest book entries available.