John David Griffin



“Here’s to you”


John David Griffin was born in Queens, New York on January 29, 1933 to Marie Kain and David L. Griffin. He attended PS 49 and graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1950. After a year at Hofstra University, he transferred to Brooklyn Polytechnic and earned a degree in Civil Engineering in 1955. Fresh out of college, he spent a period of time in the Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees) stationed in Newfoundland, and later in Providence, Rhode Island.

At the end of his service, he received a job offer from Boeing.  Never one to shy away from a new adventure, he was quick to make the great move out west and put down roots in the Pacific Northwest.  From there, he continued his career as a structural engineer working at different times for the Corps of Engineers, the Alaska District Pear Echelon, the Seattle District, Victor Gray Consulting Engineers, John Graham A&E, and later Pacific Architects and Engineers before finally striking out on his own with his own firm, John D. Griffin Engineers in 1977. Throughout his career, he worked on structural engineering projects for numerous residential homes, schools, commercial buildings and offices all across the Puget Sound region, including his role as lead engineer for SeaTac’s main terminal expansion in the early 70s.  John was widely respected in structural engineering circles for his practicality and common sense engineering and design work.john-positive

John was an energetic man and his interest in structural engineering did not stop at the drafting table. A large part of his life was investing in real estate, whether finding the “fixer upper” and then spending evenings and weekends improving the property or developing the property.  In 1982, while looking for property to buy, he first met Eleanor Hung who would then become his wife for the next thirty years.



John and Eleanor, after twenty eight years together married while vacationing in Napa Valley.



With John’s experience in the construction industry, he took it upon himself with Eleanor to manage and accumulate real estate. Together, they worked closely with one another as an enviable team – husband and wife, the closest of partners, and the best of friends.  They most recently celebrated their 30th anniversary together.

John was best known for his straight-up no nonsense attitude, a great sense of humor, a kind heart, and most of all his love for his family. His hobbies included collecting paintings, classical music, and Tanqueray gin, straight-up with a twist.

Up until the end, John remained active throughout his life.  His amazing spirit and endless energy were evident through his last day.  John passed on Easter Sunday surrounded by his family who would like to thank all of his friends for their visits and well wishes as this meant a lot to him.



John and Eleanor married in the backyard of Finn Hill home in 1982. From left to right Mrs. Lee, Eleanor’s mother (fourth from left), Michael Kim, Eleanor Griffin, Bryan Kim, John Griffin, Donna Griffin, John Griffin Jr., Glenn Griffin (second from right), and Duffy (white Maltese, center right).


John is survived by his wife, Eleanor Griffin, five children, four grand children, and a great grandson, John Griffin Jr. (Jeri), Donna McCrain (Dave), Glenn Griffin (Jamie), Michael Kim, Bryan Kim (Jenny), Ryan McCrain, Kyle McCrain, Markus Kim, Brittany Conner (Ben) & Reiley Conner.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, April 20th at St. John’s Episcopal Church located at 105 State St. South Kirkland, WA 98033.

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