Dille, WV – Leona Juanita Gates Griffith, 98, of Dille, formerly of Berkeley Springs, WV, passed away September 30, 2013 at home in Dille. She was born in Filbert, WV, to Darwin R. and Della J. Hess Gates. She was a 1933 graduate of West Side High School in Fairmont. She graduated from Fairmont State College with an AB teaching degree in English and French and earned a Masters Degree in English from West Virginia University. She taught English, French, Journalism, Latin, Drama, Physical Education, and Home Economics at Widen High School from 1939 until 1942, and then from 1953 until 1962. She taught English and French at Farmington High School from 1943 to 1946. She also taught elementary school at Dille from 1950 until 1953 and taught French at Nicholas County High School in 1963 and 1964. She retired from Clear Springs High School in Clear Springs, Maryland, after 15 years as the French teacher. Leona never passed up the opportunity to praise her former students at Widen High School and often declared it to be her most rewarding and enjoyable teaching experience. She loved to have those she taught stop by for a visit so they could reminisce.
She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Fairmont. She was preceded in death by her parents, one sister, Della Eleanor Snyder, her husband of 62 years, Ted Griffith Jr., and one son, David Marshall Griffith. Those left to cherish her memory include her sons, TG (Joyce) Griffith of Dille and Mark (Vicki) Griffith of Belle. Five grandchildren, Leanne (Matt) Deitz of Stuarts Draft, VA, Andrea (Larry) Gale of Allison Park, PA, Amanda (Mike) Penix of Reedsville, Matthew (April) Griffith of Sissonville, and Jonathan (Callie) Griffith of Kanawha City. Great grand children Lauren & Kellan Gale, Zachary & Natalie Griffith, Lucas & Liam Griffith, and Marshall Penix.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to the following neighbors and angels of mercy for their care and support: Sandy Lawson, Debbie Browning, Elaine Corpe, and especially to HospiceCare. There will be a memorial service at a later date. Waters Funeral Chapel of Summersville is in charge of arrangements.