NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – William "Bill" John Griffin III, a former New Rochelle Ford dealer, of Greenwich and Watch Hill, R.I., died Aug. 6 at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He was 82.
Born April 23, 1930, in New York City, he was the son of William and Margaret Griffin. He was raised in Pelham with his twin brother, Peter, and his younger brother, Paul.
Griffin graduated from the University of Virginia in 1952. He remained active in the university's alumni association and with the admissions department throughout his life. Upon graduation, Griffin served as a naval intelligence officer aboard the USS Miller.
A gifted entrepreneur, Griffin and his brother, Peter, opened Griffin Ford in New Rochelle in 1959, the youngest Ford dealers in the country at the time. He later opened Griffin Ford of New Canaan, Conn., in 1975 and Griffin Ford of Greenwich in 1977. Griffin was also the dealer of the Lexus franchises in Greenwich and Mount Kisco.
Griffin loved playing golf, swimming and spending time at his summer home in Watch Hill with his family. He loved animals and developed a strong interest in racing pigeons at a young age, a passion he pursued throughout his life.
Griffin is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ellen Bourquardez Griffin; a son, William John (Geraldine) Griffin IV; three daughters, Kimberley (Richard) Reynolds, Leslie (Laurence) Lambrecht and Nicole Griffin; and seven grandchildren.
The family will hold a private service and burial. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 27, at the Watch Hill Chapel in Watch Hill in Rhode Island, followed by a reception at the Misquamicut Club.