Mortality lost a great man when Roen Dean Griffiths passed away with his loving wife at his side December 21, 2021, after a brave struggle with cancer. Roen was born in Bend, Oregon, on June 1, 1931, to Joseph Owen and Loana Pickering Griffiths. He met his sweetheart, Shirley Jean Dimick, at BYU. They married October 15, 1951, in the Manti Temple and recently celebrated 70 years of marriage.
Just after their marriage, Roen enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He was stationed in Illinois, Texas, and Alabama (where their first child was born). He was also stationed in French Morocco for a year (while their second child was born). He finished his tour of duty in Utah, and they settled in Salem, Utah, where they have resided for 65 years.
Roen became a talented electronics technician after specializing in electronics communications in the Air Force. He was part-owner of Smith’s TV in Springville and owned and operated his own electronics service business, Nebo Electronics. He spent the majority of his career as chief transmitter engineer for KUTV Channel 2. He also taught an electronics class at Utah Trade Tech and worked at BYU as an electronics specialist.
Roen loved and influenced countless youth. He served most of his life as a scout leader and earned many prestigious awards, including the Silver Beaver. He was influential in helping many young men earn the rank of Eagle Scout. It was not uncommon for Roen to take a young man under his wing and mentor him to achieve his potential. Roen continued to work in scouting and serve alongside his sons and grandsons as a leader in Timberline Courses, until age 85, when he was diagnosed with cancer.
Roen loved music and was a talented musician. He took violin lessons from age 6-13, and again in his 60s, to perfect his talent. He then taught violin lessons to numerous students, including many of his grandchildren. Roen also played the French Horn in his high school band and in his city Municipal Band and later in the BYU Concert Band. He also taught himself to play the trumpet and loved to serenade the family on Sunday afternoons on the violin and trumpet. He instilled a love of music in his children and grandchildren and left a rich musical legacy for them all.
Roen loved his Savior and served in many callings with faith and zeal. He and Shirley served two missions – Knoxville, TN (Nov 1999 – Mar 2001) and Palmyra Temple (Apr 2010 – Nov 2010). He served as Patriarch in the Salem West Stake for 10 years, and he loved serving in the temple. He especially loved the people he worked with, first as a shift coordinator and then as a temple sealer for 17 years, until just weeks before he passed. Nothing gave him more joy than performing temple marriages for his many grandchildren.
Roen was a fierce patriot and loved his country. He loved seeing America and traveled to all 50 states and 18 foreign countries. He enthusiastically fulfilled his civic duty, serving as a Salem City Counsel member and volunteer fireman for many years.
Roen worked hard and played hard. He taught his children to work hard, but he was also a hands-on dad who taught them to play – night games, four-wheeling, vacations, symphonies, sledding, and more.
Perhaps Roen’s greatest legacy is the 36 grandchildren who adore and love him. He made time with them a priority. He spent countless hours teaching them and sharing his love of music, scouting, reading, and the outdoors. He took them camping, fishing, boating, and hiking. He loved each of them unconditionally and gently guided them. They knew grandpa was their biggest cheerleader on earth and will forever be in their corner from his place in Heaven.
Roen was preceded in death by his parents, Owen and Loana; and his only sibling, Max. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Shirley; seven children: Mike, Janet (John), David (Sheri), Judy (Brad), Carol, Doug (Michelle), and Steve (Gina); 36 grandchildren, and 64 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, December 29, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., Salem Second Ward Chapel, 60 South Main, Salem, Utah 84653. Viewings will be Tuesday evening, December 28, 2021, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Walker Funeral Home, 187 South Main Street, Spanish Fork, Utah 84660, and Wednesday morning, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. before the services.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Salem Days Fireworks display or to the Salem Pond Town Christmas display. Roen loved watching both from his home on the pond.