Obituary of Robert Holbrook Griswold
Robert Holbrook Griswold passed away peacefully on August 28, 2018, at the House of John hospice home after a valiant battle with cancer. Born on May 29, 1930, to the late Malcom and Margaret Griswold in Clifton Springs, NY, Bob was adored and respected by all who knew him. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend, community member, and benefactor.
Friends may call on Friday (August 31) from 4-7pm at the Cheney Funeral Home 70 Main Street Phelps. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held on Saturday (Sept. 1) 10am at St. John’s Episcopal Church 32 E. Main Street Clifton Springs. Private burial will be in Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
It is requested that in lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in memory of Bob to the House of John 14 Spring Street Clifton Springs, NY 14432 or St. John’s Episcopal Church 32 E. Main Street Clifton Springs, NY 14432
Bob graduated from Clifton Central School in 1948 and went on to attend Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1952. He entered the Unites States Air Force that same year and was honorably discharged in 1954 with the rank of Captain. He had a long and illustrious career at the Ontario-Trumansburg Telephone Companies where he served as President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board; he was a member of the New York State Telecommunications Association, a Board Member of the Deposit Telephone Company, and was elected to the New York State Telecommunications Hall of Fame.
Bob was also known for his generosity, compassion, and philanthropy. He was very active in community, serving as President of the Rotary Club, YMCA, Clifton Springs Country Club, and camp ONSEYAWA; Chairman of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rochester, and of Med America Long Term Care Insurance Co; Warden of St. John’s Episcopal Church; and member of Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, Regional Advisor Board of Fleet Bank, and the Ontario County Industrial Development Agency. He was a champion of Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC), serving on their Board of Trustees for 11 years. He held the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary; was a member of the FLCC Foundation; helped develop the eCommerce curriculum; and advocated for expanding campus life by adding residence halls and the Victor Campus Center. Bob was named FLCC Trustee Emeritus and received the prestigious Foundation Award for outstanding service and philanthropy in support of FLCC and the Foundation.
Most importantly, Bob was an extraordinary human being. He loved the game of golf and was very good at it – just ask all of the people who lost to him in the Club Championship year after year! He enjoyed watching sports of all kinds (but was partial to the Bills, the Orange, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicholas, Tiger Woods, and Jordan Spieth); spending time at Keuka Lake or in Venice, Florida; advising and guiding his loved ones; mowing the lawn; traveling; and entertaining friends and family. There are no words to express how much he will be missed.
Bob is survived by his wife of 36 years, Joan Griswold; three children, Jan Wheeler (Kirk), Michael Griswold (Carrie), and Stephanie Acquilano; 5 granddaughters, Sarah, Anna, Madeline, Alexis, and Ellie; 2 grandsons, Owen and Tucker; brother, John Griswold (Sharon); sister, Susan VerStreate (Jim); and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his son Stephen