March 24, 1925 – Oct. 31, 2012
Sylvia H. Griffin, of Buffalo, a licensed practical nurse who spent decades nursing in hospitals and for the homebound, died Wednesday in Sisters Hospital. She was 87.
Born Sylvia Hall in Buffalo, she was the eldest of 17 children.
Mrs. Griffin was among local African-Americans who were evangelized by Father Nelson Baker during the Great Depression. Her recollection of Father Baker, as told to Monsignor Walter Kern, appears in “Report of the Negro Apostolate in Lackawanna, NY A.D. 1932,” a 2011 publication by the Monroe Fordham Regional History Center at the University at Buffalo.
A graduate of Hutchinson Central High School and Trott Vocational School for Practical Nursing at Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital, Mrs. Griffin worked at Sylvania during World War II and afterward, and began her nursing career at Georgian Court Nursing Home. Meanwhile, she and her husband, Earl A., took in Mrs. Griffin’s four youngest siblings to live with them after her mother died.
Her nursing career continued at Sisters Hospital from 1954 to 1958, then she worked at Roswell Park Memorial Institute from 1968 to 1973. After her husband’s death in 1973, Mrs. Griffin supported her family by providing nursing services to the homebound.
She continued home health care work after her children were grown and into the early 1990s, maintaining friendships with the families of many she cared for until she died.
She was as a parishioner of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church for over 40 years. In 1991, she was appointed a parish trustee and served in that role until earlier this year, when her health began to fail.
A member of the church choir, she looked forward to weekly rehearsals and singing at Sunday Mass. She also was a member of the Ladies Sodality at Blessed Trinity.
In her neighborhood, Mrs. Griffin was known as a strong supporter of block clubs and neighborhood watch groups.
Survivors include two sons, Lance and Michael; a daughter, Linda Ingram; two brothers, Franklin and James Hall Sr.; and two sisters, Margaret Hall and Ruth Johnson.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Blessed Trinity Church, 317 Leroy Ave.