Mr. Griffin was born in Newtonville, MA. He was the son of George Appleton Griffin and Ellen (Gifford) Griffin of Woods Hole. A 10th-generation Cape Codder, he lived in Falmouth for most of his life. Through his mother, he traced his ancestry in Falmouth and Woods Hole back to the Giffords, Hatches and Robinsons, who settled the area in 1661.
Mr. Griffin was married for 49 years to Martha (Vincent) Griffin until her death in 1992. In 1994, he married Catherine B. Enos of Edgartown.
He graduated from Lawrence High School and Williston Academy. In 1941, he received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Brown University.
For many years he was a process engineer at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford, Connecticut. He also practiced as a registered land surveyor and civil engineer in the business that his father had begun in 1924. In 1964, he changed careers to become a mathematics teacher at Lawrence High School and later at Falmouth High School for 20 years until he retired, and then at Falmouth Academy.
He helped to start the Woods Hole Athletic Association and was its president. He managed the Woods Hole Clippers baseball team, which played in the Falmouth Twilight League, and the Woods Hole Clippers basketball team. Both teams were popular during the postwar years. Mr. Griffin served on Falmouth’s planning board and recreation committee and was a Town Meeting member. He volunteered as a math tutor at Falmouth High School and continued land surveying into his 80s.
He was a member of the Greater Falmouth Mostly All-Male Men’s Chorus and sang in the choirs of both the First Congregational Church and Church of the Messiah. In his later years, Mr. Griffin shared his memories of the town, writing articles for the Woods Hole Historical Museum’s Spritsail magazine and The Falmouth Enterprise, including an in-depth history of the Falmouth water department published in 2013. Mr. Griffin was named Citizen of the Year in 2008 by the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to his wife, he leaves a son, Robert W. Griffin Jr. and his wife, Lois S. Griffin, of Falmouth; two daughters, Jane Griffin Burke and her husband, Donald S. Burke, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Deborah Griffin Scanlon and her husband, Jack Scanlon, of North Falmouth; and six grandchildren, Jessica Griffin Burke of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Brent S. Griffin of Washington, DC, Catherine Griffin Burke of Brookline, Courtney Griffin Graffius of Portland, Maine, John F. Scanlon IV of New Orleans, and Martha Scanlon Fish of Sagamore Beach. He also leaves four great-grandchildren, Griffin and Warren Kerstetter and Lucy and Charles Graffius.