Pauline, as she was always called by those who knew and love her, was born in Duplin County, North Carolina, one of the 12 children of Janie and Amos Gresham. She passed away peacefully at ORMC with loving family members surrounding her, talking and singing.
She was a simple girl who left the farm fields of North Carolina to move to New York to live and raise her family simply and honorably. She loved her family and showed it – her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sundry nieces, nephews, in-laws and her much loved husband, James Garland Griffin. She was always supportive of her children and their children, rarely had a harsh word for anyone and, even if seemingly with good cause, never held a grudge.
Her most important enjoyment and blessing was to spend time with her family whether at the many barbecues at the family home in East Walden or the special Christmas Eve feast and gift opening with as many of the family as could squeeze in her home. Everyone prepared their specialty for the feast – Pauline’s was meatballs and sausage and peppers, ambrosia salad and lemon, chocolate and pumpkin pies – which we continued to eat until almost New Year’s.
Pauline really enjoyed knitting and crocheting afghans, baby blankets, scarves and dish clothes. She enjoyed even more giving them away to family members or even a stranger who was a new mother she met in one of her frequent visits to Walmart. Most people visit Walmart to shop for things – Pauline “shopped” for people to meet and chat with. She spent so much time chatting with complete strangers in Newburgh Walmart that some family suggested she get a job as a Walmart greeter – but Pauline knew that would take all the fun out of her adventures. Pauline drove – safely – until she was 85 but the first time her doctor suggested that she consider not driving for safety reasons she simply put away the keys.
Pauline was predeceased by her husband, James Garland, in 1985, her good friend Helen Lennon in 2009, 8 of her siblings, and her much loved grandson, Michah J. Lennon, in February 2015. She is survived by her daughter, Carol Lennon and her husband, Jerry in Walden, daughter, Brenda Williams in Walden, son, Dennis J. Griffin and wife, Linda of Goldston ,NC, two brothers and sister in North Carolina, 7 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild, many nieces and nephews and a step-family whom she loved and was loved by very much.
Visitation will be on Thursday, July 9th 2015 starting at 10:30 AM at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on Route 208 in Walden, followed by the funeral service. Burial will be in the Wallkill Valley Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions should be made to Trinity’s Pre-School Program ( Pauline never met a baby – whether of family, friend or stranger- that she didn’t want to hold and fuss over) or a charity of one’s choice.