David William Griffis

David William Griffis, age 71, passed away in Amarillo on June 13, 2023, following complications from surgery. He was born on October 8, 1951, in Tokyo, Japan, the son of Lt. Col. Henry H. Griffis and Martha Carroll Griffis.

David graduated from Douglas MacArthur High School in San Antonio. He pursued higher education at Texas Tech University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree. He furthered his academic achievements by earning a Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Following his graduation, David briefly worked as a teacher at Robert G. Cole High School before transitioning to a career as a computer analyst. However, his true calling came when he joined Pantex. There, he played a crucial role in the dismantling of nuclear weapons and the management of the nuclear pits. He devoted his entire professional life to this until his retirement in 2020.

David served in the Army, inspecting Radiation Departments of military hospitals. He was also actively involved with Masonic organizations, including being part of the Shriners Band. His commitment to Freemasonry was evident in his enthusiastic engagement in various activities within the Otis Khiva Masonic community.

Beyond his professional pursuits, David had a passion for learning and was known for his love of reading. His interests spanned a wide range, from trains to history and genealogy. He actively participated in Boys Scouts during his youth, and later found joy in participating in Civil War reenactments.

David will be deeply missed and forever cherished as a beloved brother, son, and uncle. He is survived by his three sisters: Mary Elizabeth Lynch (Bill) of Colfax, NC; Catherine Pearl Welch (Ken, deceased) of New Haven, CT; and Laura G. Hoyle (Jack) of San Antonio, TX. Additionally, he leaves behind nine nieces and nephews who held a special place in his heart.

We remember the moments that brought laughter to our lives, such as his playful quotes from “Naughty Marietta,” which invited us downstairs for chocolate “in not more than five minutes”. We recall his introduction of Agatha Christie’s captivating works and his enduring passion for trains, even as a toddler recognizing the sound of “twain twacks” during car rides.

A Memorial Service to honor and celebrate David’s life will be held at 7:00 p.m., June 23, 2023, at the Khiva Shrine in Amarillo, 305 SE 5th Ave, Amarillo, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charitable cause or organization of your choice in remembrance of David’s legacy.

May he rest in peace, leaving behind a lasting impact on those fortunate enough to know him.


  1. Rick Hartley

    Dave was a great guy and devoted worker. Will miss him

  2. Linda Caufman

    Rest In Peace, David. You were a gentleman and a delight to work with.

  3. Mary Baird

    I worked with Dave at Pantex for several years, and his presence will not soon be forgotten. This man was truly one of a kind – even the way he walked and talked was unique. And OH, his sense of humor! Not what one might expect from a man with his stature and intelligence. His deadpan delivery of an unexpected line was relished in meetings, some of which I could barely recover from in time to be a professional adult. Additionally cherished was his unyielding candor – always entertaining in a meeting – provided that it wasn’t directed at you, but in truth, even then. I remember his delight when, one day, I quoted a line from Spies Like Us. There was a group of us that would sit at the cafeteria from the beginning of 2019 until the pandemic, and rare was the day that we weren’t all howling with laughter. That is how I will remember Dave.

    Sending love to all of his family.

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