Dr. Ashton T. Griffin

Dr. Ashton T. Griffin

March 1, 2023, 90, Goldsboro –

Dr. Ashton T. Griffin passed away peacefully on the morning of March 1st, 2023 at the age of 90. Ashton was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina, one of four children to Ashton T. Griffin Jr. and Edna E. Clausel Griffin. He graduated from Goldsboro High School in 1950. In 1954, Ashton married (Vera) Bennett Daughtry and had two wonderful children, Ashton T. Griffin IV, and Margaret Griffin Bailey. Bennett passed away in 1997.

Dr. Griffin’s life was one filled with significant personal and professional accomplishments beginning at a young age. As a teenager in the Boy Scouts, Ashton achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the second generation of Griffin men to achieve the award. He attended the World Boy Scout Jamboree in Paris, France, in 1947, an experience that created many lasting memories.

In his formative years and throughout his life, excellence in education and fairness in social justice were staples in his pursuits. He and his late wife Bennett were instrumental in starting what is now Wayne Country Day School in the living room of their Goldsboro home. In addition to this endeavor, Ashton began the Sheltered Workshops in Wayne County to assist the disadvantaged in securing employment. This organization continues to serve the community today as Wayne Opportunities.

Ashton was an Angier Biddle Duke Scholar at Duke University, graduating in 1954 with a B.A. in Psychology. He was a member of the SAE fraternal order at Duke. While an undergraduate at Duke University, Ashton served in the United States Marine Corps, completing summer tours of duty for basic training in Paris Island, SC, and Advanced Officer training in Quantico, VA. He was honorably discharged from the USMC in 1953.

Ashton attended medical school at Duke, graduating in 1958. While a sophomore in medical school, Ashton joined the United States Air Force assigned to Duke. He always intended to finish his Pediatric Residency at Duke, but the USAF had a need for him at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota, to which he reported in 1959. After four years at Ellsworth, Ashton returned to Goldsboro, NC, and was stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB. While in the Air Force, Ashton was responsible for Pediatrics and Adult Medical Sick Calls. He was honorably discharged from the USAF in December 1962 with the rank of Captain.

Dr. Griffin opened his solo medical practice of Pediatrics in Wayne County after his discharge from the Air Force. In 1970, he sat for the first American Board of Family Practice medical exam and became a Charter Diplomat of that board. He continued to run a successful and growing medical practice for over 40 years in Wayne County. He ended his career in 2016 as Medical Director of the Wayne County Medical Center. In 2022 he was honored as one of the 125 Heroes for the 125th Anniversary Celebration of Wayne Memorial Hospital.

Whether he was teaching biochemistry with the Department of Dental Hygiene at Wayne Community College or as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Practice at Duke Medical School, his love of learning continued throughout his life. In 1998, Ashton married his high school friend and Goldsboro neighbor, Shirley Myers Griffin. Together they pursued their educational interests by studying at Oxford, England, every September for ten years. Many lasting and enduring relationships were formed over their time at Oxford.

Family life remained an integral part of his life. He and Shirley enjoyed their siblings and their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren immensely. His legacy continues in their lives.

Ashton was preceded in death by his loving wife, Shirley Myers Griffin. They have six children, Ashton T. Griffin IV (Paula), Spartanburg, SC, Margaret Griffin Bailey (Scott), Virginia Beach, VA, Bobby Gerald Garris, Jr., New Bern, NC, Timothy Allen Garris (Daffie), Asheboro, NC, Debra Garris Horner (Eric), Nashville, TN, Vernon Scott Garris, Kill Devil Hills, NC. Ashton also leaves behind his sisters, Erline Burwell Griffin Eason, Richmond, VA, Beverly Floyd Griffin, Virginia Beach, VA, and his brother, Patrick Craven Griffin (Jane), Washington, NC. Ashton also leaves behind his brother-in-law, Dwight Myers, of Swansboro, NC. Dr. Griffin is survived by eleven grandchildren: Ally Bailey, Megan Bailey (Chan), Brittany Drake (Drake), Chris Regalmuto, Brian Garris, Brent Garris (Alora), Phillip Matthews (Candace), Katy Bell (Chris), Richard Horner (Lisa), Jennifer Taylor (Jared), and Allison Garris. Dr. Griffin is survived by nine great-grandchildren and one on the way. He also leaves behind his special friend, Judy Whitfield.

In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to

Kitty Askins Hospice Center
107 Handley Park Ct.
Goldsboro, NC 27534

Garris Chapel Church
823 Piney Grove Rd.
La Grange, NC 28551

The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at Seymour Funeral Home in Goldsboro. Dr. Griffin’s funeral service will be held at 12:00 noon on Thursday, March 9, 2023, at Garris Chapel Church in LaGrange. A committal service will follow at 2:00 p.m. in the Eastern Carolina State Veterans Cemetery with military honors.

Services are entrusted to Seymour Funeral Home and Cremation Service.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.seymourfuneralhome.com.