Anne Griffith died on July 13, 2017 at the age of 91 in Turlock, CA. The cause of death was congestive heart failure and chronic renal failure. Anne was born on February 6, 1926 in Indianapolis, IN to James Wolverton Stockton, an electrical engineer and Katherine Lucille Winders, chanteuse and journalist. Anne’s parents divorced in 1930. That year Anne and her younger sister went to live in Sparta, IL with their paternal aunt and uncle, Louise and Edwin Probasco. After a bitter custody battle in 1932, Anne and her sister moved to Pleasantville, NY where they were raised by their paternal grandparents Wholston Vanderbilt and Catherine Hagaman Stockton.
Every year, Anne and her sister traveled from NY to IL on an overnight Pullman train to spend the summer with their Aunt “Lele” and Uncle “Pro”. Anne subsequently developed a lifelong passion for train travel from these childhood trips. She graduated from Pleasantville High School in 1943 and attended Lindenwood University for one year. Unfortunately, she contracted spinal meningitis after a mastoidectomy and had to take a year off from school. After Anne recovered, she transferred to Purdue University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics in 1949. That same year, Anne married Lin Hugh Griffith of Hammond, IN, a fellow Purdue graduate. They spent their honeymoon traveling by Zephyr train from New York to California where Lin attended Stanford University Law School. Anne and Lin moved to Merced, CA in December 1952 where Lin became deputy district attorney. They moved to Turlock, CA in July 1954 where Lin practiced law for fifty years. Anne and Lin had been married almost 65 years before he died in 2014. Anne was an active member of the First United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women since 1954. She was a member of P.E.O, Chapter BY and Tuesday Reading Club for over 55 years. Anne was also an active member in both American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters. She belonged to two investment clubs; Money Tree in Modesto and Fru-Gals in Turlock. She played bridge with two groups for over 50 years. Anne and Lin also belonged to The Potluck Group, a group of six couples that met for dinner and bridge every month for over 50 years.
Anne was a devotee and supporter of classical music, opera and theater. Anne and Lin were season ticket holders of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra for 35 years. They also attended the week long Carmel Bach Festival for over 35 years. They had season tickets to both San Francisco Opera and American Conservatory Theater for over 25 years. Anne loved to travel. Some of her favorite trips with Lin were the Orient Express train trip from Paris to Istanbul, South Pacific Islands, China, Europe, Canada and many places in America.
In her spare time, Anne was an avid reader of American fiction and antiques. She was also an accomplished classical pianist. Anne loved to cook and hosted many enjoyable times with family and friends.
Anne is survived by her son Martin (Carole), daughter Ellen (Rick Kitamura) and son Paul (Betty). She leaves four grandchildren, Jed, Megan and David Griffith and Derek Griffith Kitamura. She was preceded in death by grandson Peter, sister Marilyn Shaw, parents James Stockton and Katherine Wheeler.
A memorial service and reception is scheduled on Monday, July 31 at 2 pm at the First United Methodist Church 1660 Arbor Way Turlock, CA. The Neptune Society was selected. Anne wished to acknowledge her daughter Ellen for being an outstanding coordinator and advocate of her health care and housing needs over the past fifteen years. In lieu of flowers, people are invited to donate in Anne’s memory to: First United Methodist Church (fumcturlock.org), Friends of the Turlock Library PO Box 1260 Turlock, CA 95381-1260 or California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (canhr.org).