Rebekah “Honey” Shelley Griffard
March 3, 1943 – May 15, 2020
On Friday, May 15, 2020, a light went out in the world. Honey Griffard, who overcame so much during her lifetime, was unable to win her last battle.
Diagnosed with ALS, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2018, she did what she could to hold this terrible wasting disease at bay, but she finally succumbed to it. She passed away peacefully at home in Homer, with her husband, Col. Bernard F. Griffard, U.S. Army, (Ret) by her side. She lived a gracious, grateful life of service to others, and positively impacted the lives of so many, far beyond her family
Born on March 3, 1943, to Lt. Col. Robert J. Shelley Jr., USMC, and Rebekah (Becky) Parham Shelley, she was raised in Miami, Florida. Following graduating magna cum laude from the University of Miami in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, she married First Lieutenant Douglas G. Magruder. They had a son, Douglas G. Magruder Jr. in September 1967. In November of that year Lt. Magruder was killed in action in Vietnam. In 1970 she married her current husband Col. Bernard F. Griffard, an ROTC Instructor at the University of Miami. They would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this coming September. As an Army wife, Honey traveled the world while stationed in Berlin, Germany, Seoul South Korea, and Mons, Belgium. After Bernie’s retirement from the Army in 1993, he and Honey moved to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where Bernie became an Associate Professor at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 2015 Honey and Bernie moved to Homer, Alaska to be closer to their daughter, Christi, grandson Patrick, and her husband Scott Luper.
A Jehovah’s Witness for over 45 years, she developed warm friendships wherever she lived. Honey had strong faith that the earth will be restored to a paradise, and she now takes her rest and awaits the time when “all those in the memorial tomb will hear Jesus’ voice and come out.”—John 5:28,29.
Honey is survived by her loving, devoted husband Col. Bernard Griffard; her son Douglas Magruder (Sonia); her daughter Christine Griffard Luper (Scott); four grandsons, Douglas Magruder III, Jeffrey Magruder, Stephen Magruder and Patrick Luper; and two great-grandchildren, Lily and Elliott Magruder. She is also survived by her brother, Robert (Robin) J. Shelley III (Susan) of Miami, Florida; sister, Katherine Shelley Blomqvist (Erik) of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Contributions can be made in her memory to:
ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS-TDI), 300 Technology Square, Suite 400, Cambridge, MA 02139, phone 617-441-7204.