Jim Griffith, Respected Longtime Manager of Benedum Airport, Dies at Age 70

By Local News | September 05, 2017
James R. “Jim” Griffith, 70, of Isaacs Creek Rd., Good Hope, died Monday, September 4, 2017, at home with his loving wife, Georgette, at this side.
Griffith was best known and respected as the longtime manager of the Benedum Airport.
Jim grew up in Wheeling, WV. Following high school, he attended two years at West Liberty State College; graduated from Weaver Airline School; and received a two-year Associate Degree from Belmont Technical College in Ohio.
During his college years, he worked for Griffith Brothers Construction in Wheeling, WV; worked as a Ticket Agent and Baggage Claim Manager for National Airlines in Long Island, NY; and then WTC Airfreight in Long Island. They moved to Wheeling, WV, with Jim working for PICOMA Industries for 4 years; then Aeromech Airlines at the Wheeling Airport as Agent-Manager; and was Airport Manager at Beckley Airport for 6 months.
They moved to Clarksburg, WV, in 1979, and Jim became Ticket Agent for Aeromech Airlines as a Station Manager. In 1986, Wright Airlines purchased Aeromech and Jim remained Station Manager at Benedum; 1987 transferred to Cleveland, OH and worked one year as Station Manager for Wright; in 1987, he became Station Manager for USAir Express; and then became the Airport Manager for Benedum Airport in Bridgeport, WV, overseeing doubling of the landing field over a 3-year expansion project. In 1998, Jim was named WV Airport Manager of the Year, and in 2000 appointed Airport Manager President. In 2012, he retired as Airport Manager of North Central Regional Airport.
Jim’s hobbies and interests included fly-fishing in Montana, Yellowstone, and Arkansas, freshwater fishing in the Great Lakes, boar hunting in Hawaii, black bear hunting in Alberta, Canada; elk, moose, mule deer, antelope and prairie dog hunting in Montana, deer and small game hunts throughout WV. He enjoyed gardening, and the rewards of hard work. His cocker spaniel, Kate, was his constant companion. Jim was a 32nd-degree Mason and Shriner. He especially enjoyed taking sponsored children to the Shriner Hospital in Lexington, KY. Jim was a member Jackson Lodge No. 35 of Good Hope, Eastern Star Chapter 109 of Good Hope, and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Weston.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph “Dick” Richard Griffith and Dorothy Louise Hohman Griffith, and his brother, Daniel B., all of Wheeling.
Surviving are his loving wife, Georgette B. Otten Griffith; his nephew, Matthew B. (Jodie) Griffith, and their three sons, Trey, JD, and Aidan of Wheeling, WV; and his nephew, Lee Bryan (Amanda), and their two children, Elena Rose and Olivia May of Belmont, OH; and his aunt, Isabel Painter of Wellsburg, WV; his brothers-in-law, Gregory K. (Ann) Otten of Houston, TX, Robert J. Jr. (Terri) Otten of Charlotte, NC, Glenn A. (Martha) Otten of Woodland, TX, and the Otten nephews, Michael S., Eric (Amanda), Chris L. (Jessica), Robert J. “III”, and his niece Bethany T; grand-nephews and nieces, Luke D., and Alice Rose.
Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, September 8, 2017 at the Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service at 144 Hackers Creek Rd. in Jane Lew. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday from the Pat Boyle Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend James R. DeViese, Jr. officiating. Interment will follow in the Good Hope Masonic Cemetery.
The Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored and privileged to serve the family of James “Jim” R. Griffith. Online condolences may be expressed at www.patboylefuneralhome.com.

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