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Obituary of NORMAN HERBERT GRIFFITHS
Sadly, we announce the passing of Norman Herbert Griffiths, 80, of Winnipeg Manitoba on March 29, 2023.
He was born August 22, 1942 in the Royal Brisbane Hospital in Redcliff, Queensland, north of Brisbane, Australia to his loving mother Ivy (Woodhouse) Griffiths & father Norman Griffiths.
Norman was the eldest of 5 children and was raised on the family farm in a rural community, Samsonvale, Australia. At the age of 5 he attended a small, one teacher school at Mount Samson. After 8 years of primary school tuition, at 14 years old, he went to Redcliffe, to live with his grandmother to attend Banyo High School to further his education.
At the age of 15, he was offered and accepted a position for a 5-year apprenticeship as a panel beater/motor body repairer at Toombul, a suburb of Brisbane. He got his papers at the age of 21. As a young man, he spent many years enjoying adventurous weekends and extended holidays on bush camping and wild boar hunting trips throughout the outback of Queensland and into the Cape York area. On these trips there were no comforts of home and life was truly a matter of being resilient and knowing how to prepare and survive in less than ideal conditions. (Norm kept in touch and remained friends with these men for the rest of their lives.)
Perhaps this adventurous spirit was what drew Norm to volunteer to be a part-time member of the Citizens Military Forces (CMF). This was an organization that supported the Australian Regular Army. Norm loved being involved in the weekend exercises, excursions and training and remained a member for many years.
He continued his travel adventures and moved to live and work interstate at Queanbeyan in New South Wales. In 1966, he travelled overseas to England to work and in September he flew to Montreal for Expo ’67. He had met some Winnipeggers on the boat to England and decided to visit them while in Canada and ended up putting down roots in Winnipeg.
Norm worked for 10 years at various body shops. In 1975 he went back to visit Australia, the return trip to Winnipeg being by ship. There was a stop in Auckland and during a city bus tour, he got chatting with Deborah Gupman. One thing led to another on said ship and they were married in 1976 to start a life together in Winnipeg. Along the way the family grew, having 4 daughters and a son. For 4 years Norm changed vocations and was in the flooring business, but in 1982 he went back to the auto industry securing his professional career with Manitoba Public Insurance as a heavy equipment estimator, retiring in 2004. Not one to sit around Norm was a Parts Manager at a Heavy Truck Repair Shop for the next 4 years.
He was proud to become a Canadian citizen in 2010! Norman loved volunteering within the community. He was an avid member of the Down Under Club, was often involved in Folklorama Pavilions and whether it was a friend in need or Harvest Manitoba he could be counted on by those around him. He would often be found tinkering with cars. His car, his friend’s car, his child’s car or any other car he could get his hands on. He took pride in having a lush lawn and a well-kept yard. He spent hours mowing, watering and grooming his lawn, tending to the garden and marigolds, never missing an opportunity to have a Blue Jays game on the radio/TV while he worked. He loved to watch tv shows about crime like Americas Most Wanted & Cops. In later years he was known to get into reality shows like Survivor but his guilty pleasure was the Bachelor. He loved country music and although not a singer he could often be heard trying to sing along to the Grand Ole Opry. He is loved and remembered fondly by many.
He is survived by his children Brenda (Carey), Becky (Greg), Bonnie (Paul), Lindy (Tanya), Ben (Kali), his brother Arthur (Glynda), sister Ivy, sister Elaine (Robert), brother Allan (Tina) and grandchildren Brandan, Dylan, Kinsley, Trenton, Morgan, Chelsey, Nicholas, Ethan and Nathan. Norman was predeceased by his wife Deborah, his mother Ivy & father Norman.
A special thank you to the staff at Bethania Mennonite Personal Care Home, for the care and attention they gave Norman.
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