South City Remembers Donald Griffin, Beloved Veterinarian

A memorial gathering has be announced for Friday Oct. 19 in South San Francisco.

Donald Griffin died recently of what was reportedly a heart attack, though cause of death is still unconfirmed. Griffin was the veterinarian of Spruce Avenue Pet Hospital.

The hospital currently has a book for members of the community to sign or write in with memories or condolences. People are also welcome to leave letters in the book. The book will be given to the Griffin family. 

On Tuesday there were flowers, signs and messages in chalk on the pavement outside the hospital for Dr. Griffin, known to many as "Doc."

"He'd give you the shirt of his back, literally," said Angelo J. Rossi of Palo Alto who had known Griffin for 35 years. 

Rossi said Griffin was an avid bicyclist and a basketball player, as well as an "all around sportsman."

"He will be missed," Rossi said.

Griffin is survived by his three kids, Jhani, Taylor and Sam, and his wife, Maria, of Corte Madera. 

The hospital, at 135 Spruce Avenue in South City, will remain open during its regular hours, until further notice. 

Update: A memorial gathering will take place on Friday Oct. 19 from noon to 3 p.m. at Santo Cristo Hall at 41 Oak Ave. in South San Francisco. The event will be potluck style, and attendants are welcome to bring food. The public is also welcome to attend.

Here are a couple of comments to the Pet Hospital Patch listing about Dr. Griffin. Please leave memories and condolences in the comments section below: 

"Dr. Griffin is the best! A very kind, compassionate and informed vet who who truly loves pets and takes his time in exams, as well as explaining whatever you need to know about your pet and their problems." -Victoria

"Dr. Griffin to address calmly and compassionately....Dr. Griffin is honest, patient, caring, and knowledgeable.....No concern is too small or insignificant for." -Harry E. Smith

Sheila Hodges October 22, 2012 at 05:12 AM
What a wonderful, giving, kind & considerate man was lost to all of us, so suddenly, especially his family. Who will we ever find to replace this amazing doctor of all our beloved pets? We were unable to attend the memorial on Friday and feel terrible about that. He did whatever he could for our 2, 18 yr. old cats through their lives & now for our latest feral. What will we do without you Doc, you were 1 in a million! Still get emotional thinking about this. God bless you and keep you always. Sheila, Jim (Ki, Scraggy & Lil' Cat)
Ken Anderson October 25, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Ken Anderson Very impressed by the wonderful comments about Doc. He was a good friend back in the 60's in Midland, MI. Don was a teammate on our 1968 Midland High football team that was Michigan State Champions. He was a defensive back and a great companion. All his friends back here in Midland are in shock. God bless you Don from all of us. I have been remembering some of the good times we had as teenagers. That football team is still a brotherhood. See you in heaven my friend.
maria driscoll October 29, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Don Griffin is and was one of the greatest men I have ever known, and I told him every month I knew him. He took care of my dog Peekaboo until he came to my house and put her down last Sept 16 2011 for 14 years......he was an angel from heaven. I begged him to take money, and he would not, so I brought him tequila and other things that he enjoyed.....I loved him and thought the would of Don, and his family..and his children, and HIM.....I am so distraught and cannot imagine him gone. I have not gotten another dog and don't know if I will now that he is gone. At least I can imagine Peekaboo with Don wherever they are and I miss them both very much. Everyone in my life knew about Don though out the years, the only good thing is that I at least called him monthly and gawked on his message machine about what a wonderful person he was and how much I loved him and appreciated him....so he knew. This is a huge shock! Love to his family. Sincerely, Maria Driscoll
Hank Guilbert November 18, 2012 at 07:29 AM
Truly a wonderful man and doctor. I knew the Doc for more than 25 years and he was an honest, caring, hard working and knowledgable man with his own distinctive sense of humor. Thank you for the many years of caring for our animals. I still cannot believe he is gone.....You were one of a kind and will be missed Doc! - Hank-
Diane Ram December 12, 2012 at 03:58 AM
12 Dec 2012 I had a chance to see Dr. Griffin a few times with my dog Lulu. He was such a great vet with a wonderful pet side manner. I only found out cause I needed to take Lulu in to see him. I am deeply saddened and stunned by his loss. I liked him the moment we met him and as busy as he was he still took on more patients. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family. He is missed.


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