JOHN L. GRIFFIN
Resident of Los Gatos
John passed away peacefully on July 10th at the age of 95. His wife of 66 years, Hazel, passed away in July 2014. He is survived by his sons Tom, David, Dennis and Richard, his daughter Laura, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Harvard Business School, he spent most of his adult life in the real estate development business. After founding his company, Alpha Land Company, in 1958, John and his two partners, Philip and Peter Ingber, became pioneers and innovators in the residential real estate business, building thousands of homes, apartments and condominiums throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1982, he formed a family real estate company, Longmeadow Development Corporation with his son Richard, and developed numerous commercial projects in the Bay Area and the Roseville-Rocklin area.
John was a self-made man who lived by the adage “if you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” He was respected by his friends and colleagues for his honesty and integrity and his straight-shooter approach. John was an old-school guy that preferred the simpler times, when contracts were short and straight-forward and you didn’t need a lawyer at every turn.
John and Hazel loved to travel and made many trips together to locations around the world. Hazel particularly loved cruises. Their favorite place by far was the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii, where they were frequent guests over the years along with family and friends.
John and Hazel enjoyed attending the concerts of Symphony Silicon Valley and volunteered to provide funds for an endowment program which makes it possible for public activities such as orchestras and operas to survive.
John was an enthusiastic sports fan, especially the 49ers, and even though it took decades of waiting, it was probably one of the high points of his life when he finally got to see the 49ers win their first Super Bowl in the 1981 season (which John and Hazel went to and saw live in Detroit) and then go on to win four more. And the Giants 2010 World Series win was another pleasant yet long awaited surprise as were the later wins in 2012 and 2014.
An avid golfer and longtime member of La Rinconada Country Club, John played many courses in the U.S. and around the world. He would like his friends to know that he has now joined the Heavenly Days Country Club, where the fairways are wide, the rough is short and the cups are as big as peach baskets.
According to his wishes, there will not be a religious ceremony or reception, and he requests that any donations in his memory be made to Symphony Silicon Valley or a charity of the giver’s choice.
We will miss you always Johnny G.