William Thomas Griffin, M.D.

William Thomas Griffin, M.D.

Jan 11, 1930 – Jun 4, 2017

Passed peacefully surrounded by family.  Preceded in death by wife, Sheila Delaney Griffin; parents, William and Helena Griffin; sister, Mary Pat Kuta; brother-in-law, Donald D. Dischner.  Survived by wife, Sharon Marvin; sister, Carroll Dischner; children: Aimee Poor, Karen Griffin (David Wood), Jane Griffin (Francesco Ciotti), and Bill Griffin (Tracey); grandchildren: Weston Poor (Marci Vander Tuig), Erin Poor, Jason Beach (Melissa), Sofia Ciotti, Victor Beach, Milo Ciotti, Catcher Griffin, Lexington Griffin and Berkeley Griffin; Sharon’s children: Melissa Marvin and Geoffrey Hartig, Barney and Micky Marvin; and grandchildren: M.J. Hartig, Lilli, Hope and Sammy Marvin.

The family will receive friends Wednesday, June 7th, 5pm to 7pm, with VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm at the Bel Air Chapel, 12100 W. Center Rd.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL Thursday, June 8th at 10am at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 11802 Pacific.  Interment in Carson, Iowa.  Memorials are suggested to: Nebraska Educational Television Foundation; Lincoln Symphony Orchestra; Omaha Symphony; or charity of your choice.


William Thomas Griffin, M.D., was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on January 11, 1930.  He attended Cathedral High School, the University of Nebraska, and ultimately obtained his MD from the University of Nebraska Medical School in 1956.   Bill then served as a Captain in the Army and was stationed in Orleans, France for 2 years.  Bill’s time in France was followed by a medical internship in San Francisco, California, where he also worked as a trainer for the San Francisco 49ers.

Bill devoted his life to helping others.  Be it the thousands of patients that he treated in his practice, or through the medical missionary work that he did across the globe, Bill selflessly healed those in need.  Bill worked in the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Tanzania in 1975.  He worked in Belize City, Belize in 1982.  He worked in Hualien, Taiwan, in 1983.  He traveled to the Dominican Republic as a medical missionary through the Creighton University ILAC program.  And he traveled countless times to Haiti, as a Christian Sojourn medical missionary.  Bill’s last trip to Haiti was in 2010, after the devastating earthquakes rocked that country.  Even at the age of 80, Bill still felt the call to travel to Haiti, where he knew he could help.

During his medical career, Bill was the President of the American Cancer Society, Nebraska Division, the President of the Lancaster County Medical Society and the Chairman of the Departments of Surgery of both Bryan Memorial Hospital and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lincoln.

Bill’s giving was not limited, however, to healing.  Bill gave to the arts in Nebraska as commissioner of Nebraska Educational Television (NET) from 2003 – 2007; as President of the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra; as a member of the statewide advisory board of the Lied Center for the Performing Arts; and as a member of the Ambassador Board of the Omaha Symphony.

Bill was a member of the Board of Trustees of Doane College from 1998 – 2010.  He was a member of the University of Nebraska Foundation, and was a member of the Serra Club for 16 years.

Bill was an avid cyclist and led bicycle tours, along with his wife Sheila, in the United States and in Europe.  They even went so far as to make a business out of this, creating the company Bike With Us.  He was instrumental in developing a bicycle trail system in Nebraska through the Great Plains Trails Network.  Bill was a founding member of the Lincoln Racket Club and spent a lifetime playing and encouraging others to enjoy tennis.  And of course, Bill was a season ticket holder to Nebraska football since 1964, and missed merely a handful of games over the past 50 years.

In his earlier days, Bill was a star athlete at Cathedral High School.   Not only did he play receiver for the football team, but, in 1948 as a center for the Cathedral basketball team, he won the citywide scoring championship, scoring 212 points in 19 games, with his long, lanky frame.

Bill passed away in his sleep, surrounded by family, on June 4, 2017.



  • EC Posted June 5, 2017 10:54 am

    So very sorry to hear of your loss..
    John 5:28,29

  • Katharine D. McLoughlin Posted June 5, 2017 11:18 am

    My thoughts are with all of you. Your Dad was a delight with a big heart.

  • Paul & Jo Hoff Posted June 5, 2017 1:05 pm

    Sharon–You were a true blessing to and for Bill. He was a great friend and the BEST surgeon in NE. Our heart felt sympathies from MT. Jo & Paul

  • John O’Connell Posted June 5, 2017 9:08 pm

    Some of my most cherished memories of childhood are the Thanksgiving holidays at the Griffin house.Dr Bill took me on his morning rounds one time. He has always been a wonderfully sweet, kind, and caring man. I will remember him always. My condolences to all of you.

  • Cheryl Montgomery Posted June 5, 2017 9:27 pm

    Aimee I am so very sorry for your loss. I remember meeting your Dad, such a kind and friendly man. My heart breaks for you and your family. May you find peace and comfort in the loving thoughts and prayers surrounding you.

  • Charles J. O’Grady Posted June 6, 2017 8:35 am

    On behalf of my brother Jim (Cathedral class of 1950) and myself (Cathedral class of 1951) I extend our heartfelt sympathies to Bill’s family. God bless his generous soul!

  • Sharon Crosier Posted June 6, 2017 11:53 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed working with Dr. Griffin at St. Elizabeth hospital. He was a wonderful person, doctor and surgeon.

  • Pegi Georgeson Posted June 6, 2017 4:06 pm

    Prayers and hugs!?so sorry for your family -‘He was an exceptional man!

  • Mary Ann (Reese’s) Barnett Posted June 6, 2017 4:22 pm

    I have wonderful memories of times spent with the Griffin family and admiring Dr. Griffin as he aged and continued to bike and remain so active. May Gods blessing be with you all and may Dr Griffin rest peacefully In the arms of our Lord!

  • Nancy Finken Posted June 6, 2017 8:24 pm

    I’m sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. I appreciate his support of NET and fondly remember chatting with him at various events. My condolences to his family.

  • Diane Lerch Posted June 6, 2017 9:22 pm

    My sympathies to Dr Griffins family. I worked with him at St E’s mid 1970’s to 1990. One of the top surgeons in Lincoln, as well as one of the nicest physicians. Always a smile and the best handwriting. What a giving person!

  • Jeanne Young Ostlund Posted June 7, 2017 7:29 pm

    So very sad to hear of Dr. Griffin’s passing. I spent many years babysitting for Dr. and Mrs. Griffin when all four kids were little and have special memories of how both of them were just such very nice people. My prayers are with the family.

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