Nature 42


Maxine (Smith) Griffin

June 25, 2018 ~ August 4, 2018

Maxine Smith Griffin

In the early morning hours of Saturday, August 4, 2018, Maxine Smith Griffin was welcomed into her heavenly home by a host of family members and friends, including her husband, Henry Griffin, her oldest son, William “Bill” Simpson, her parents, Charlie Ray and Lula (Granny) Smith, her brothers and sisters, Benjamin Smith, Lee Smith, Annie Villyard, Sara Chastain, Ruth Gillespie, Pauline Clark, Jessie Loftin, and dear friend, Betty Gravitt.

Maxine, affectionately known as “Granny” by her grandchildren, was born on June 25, 1932 to Charlie Ray and Lula Smith.  She grew up on a farm in Cool Springs, just north of Gainesville, Ga., where she lived in a three-room house without running water or electricity.  Being the baby of the family, she didn’t have to pick cotton, but her Mama made her a little pickin’ sack anyway.  She and her nephews, Jack Smith and Ray Villyard, and friend Guy Lawson would have fun and get into mischief fishing down by the creek and jumping into piles of cotton on the front porch. 

After growing up and moving to Gainesville, she began her working career at Swift’s Poultry Plant, where she made many friendships— some of which would become lifelong.  As a single mother, she had fun raising her three kids but had some help from her mother and her niece and nephew, Brenda and Doug Rider.  Together they would teach the kids manners and a good sense of humor.  “Get in the car and let’s go somewhere,” would lead to taking the kids to the Polar Girl for a treat, driving to Doraville to get a Krystal burger or a visit to Grant Park Zoo in Atlanta—singing traveling songs all the way! 

Maxine loved her family and spending time together.  She took her youngest two children on a Greyhound bus coast-to-coast to California to visit her sister.  Maxine always recalled that “the trip took four days to get there and four hours to get home.”  She enjoyed her kids’ birthday parties even more than the kids!  She was always excited to get together at family reunions.

She had a blast raising her grandchildren, while she would take them on trips to the country, popping corn that her and Henry grew in the garden, and going out to eat together.  She proved time and time again that a Dairy Queen ice cream cone is too large for a kid to finish—without pinching the top of it off first. 

Maxine retired from Johnson and Johnson at Chicopee and was a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church.

The family she leaves behind include her two children and their spouses, Scott and Karan Wilson, Nancy and Norman Clendennin; her daughter-in-law, Denise Simpson; her grandchildren Brandon and Jeannie Turner, Ashley and Justin Lawing, Nathan and Samantha Wilson, Kaylyn and Justin Page, and AJ Clendennin; her great-grandchildren Kameron, Jaycee, and Luke Turner, Amelia and Charlie Lawing; her step-grandson, Mitchell Vincent; step-great grandchildren, Brandon, Matthew, Andrew, and Ava Vincent; and a whole bunch of nieces and nephews.

A few dear friends who helped keep her active and brought joy to her life include, Becky Stephens, Betty White, Bonice Bates, Eula Farmer, David Paris and all of her friends at the Pulmonary Rehab in Gainesville, which she visited twice a week to help keep her strong.

Funeral services will be held at Little and Davenport Chapel in Gainesville on Monday, August 6, 2018 at 3:30 in the afternoon.  The family will receive friends Sunday, August 5 from 6-8pm at Little and Davenport Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the Memorial Park Cemetery.

Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at

Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30501 is in charge of arrangements.

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