Harold Griffith
  • 65 years old
  • Date of birth: Jan 11, 1949
  • Place of birth:
    San Jose, California, United States
  • Date of passing: Jun 23, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    Watsonville, California, United States
As Harold said so often "Life's a trip"

Harold Wayne Griffith was born in San Jose California on January 11, 1949.  His parents were professional chemists, and math was a family experience. He grew up in Campbell when there were orchards everywhere, and as a teenager he and his brothers were very excited by the young electronics industry. He was an Eagle Scout, an honors student (often), a gifted athlete and graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a degree in Community Studies in 1972. Harold bought his first house in Santa Cruz in 1974 and lived in Santa Cruz County for the remainder of his life. He chose to live a simple life, and was deeply respected and loved by many people who will truly miss his helping hand, caring heart, and his unique sense of humor.
Harold was a builder, auto mechanic, paralegal and landlord in his professional life. A self-taught handyman who could fix or repair anything, he had a passion for helping people to learn how to do practical things.
Around 2000, he built a modest country house--from the foundation to finish--by himself, with occasional advice from contractor friends and casual labor--because he wanted to demonstrate that an ordinary person really could build a house.
He was a man of wide interests with a vast knowledge of history.  A true believer in the democratic process, he taught himself the law so that he could participate in the legal process. It did not take long for him to become well known in certain circles for his careful and thorough work on tax law and legal issues involving building and planning. Inside him was the deepest motivation to seek truth, honesty and straightforward dealings from government agencies and individuals.
Harold is survived by his wife, Virginia Hunt, his sisters Beth Hocker, Bernice Denham, Sylvia Little, Maricyl Rosewitz and Margaret Young and his brothers Charles Griffith, Paul Griffith, and Fred Griffith, and his nieces and nephews.
No formal services are planned, as he requested.
In lieu of flowers or donations, Harold would undoubtedly prefer that people save (not spend) their money for their own future lives.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Bulaich Nick on 23rd June 2017

"Harold:  How are the hamburgers on the other side?  I sure do miss having a burger with you.  You're still inspiring me!


This tribute was added by Karla Fratus on 23rd June 2016

"Harold took so much time to help Clark and me, always so graciously and we owe him and Ginny for putting up with us, so much. Harold has forever changed my life for the good, I think of him often and miss him tremendously. He was, and is, forevermore my hero!"

This tribute was added by Rhonda Sprague on 22nd April 2016

"Oh Harold I miss our long discussions at my kitchen table! Coffee and sandwiches was more than enough to satisfy you, as long as you had an ear.   I have wanted to continue our conversations to learn from a man that shared his knowledge so freely.  I have found myself in legal battles that I never imagined and know that you would have expertly guided me through them.  Now I know that I have the courage to seek the necessary knowledge and plod through the legal system step by step no matter how painful it is to deal with the system and all its shortcomings!  Much love my friend.  I will see you on the other side to continue our wonderful conversations."

This tribute was added by Clark Fratus on 11th January 2016

"A one of a kind hero to the people whom would go out of his way to help those who needed it when it appeared there was no where else to turn in the fight against unlawful government. A brilliant man with a great heart!"

This tribute was added by Richard Rosewitz on 23rd June 2015

"Yo, Harold. You always said that "Life is a trip!" How are you finding "death"? Is it a "trip" too?"

This tribute was added by Karla Fratus on 23rd June 2015

"For my forever friend Harold. Harold I miss you almost everyday and last year I couldn't bring myself to write anything simply because I could never find words eloquent enough to convey how much you mean to me. You saved Clark and I at a time when no other could. You gave me strength to fight against the county of Contra Costa and I continue this fight even today and only wish you could be here to give me additional ammunition. Ginny was always so gracious and kind with the time you gave us and I thank you both so much. You will be in our hearts always."

This tribute was added by John Crivello, Sr. on 12th January 2015

"God our Father has taken an Angle from planet earth and delivered him up high.  God bless him on high.  I am forever great full to have Harold as my friend and will cherish this thought forever.  John Crivello"

This tribute was added by Jane Baer on 12th January 2015

"always miss and love Harold"

This tribute was added by Kate Wells on 11th January 2015

"Happy Birthday Harold !  I miss you and think of you often."

This tribute was added by Richard Rosewitz on 3rd December 2014

"Listen Holmes,
now that you've cashed in your chips,
and gone on to the Happy Hunting Ground,
I can finally get a few words in edgewise!
-Ain't Life A Trip?!!

Harold was usually very forthright and forceful.
(Does forceful equate to motor-mouth?)
I'm not really sure if he fully comprehended that I was far less conservative or libertarian than he was
(in fact, sometimes I'm a flaming Lib-ur-AL,
perhaps even a rad-dick-cul,
depending on what the issue is, - although I'm also sometimes cun-serv-uh-tiv,
and am even re-act-shun-ary on a few issues [E.g.-I'd like to bring back a limited version of corporal punishment in the public schools!).

However, he was usually so entertaining, and sometimes educational, that I, more often than not, just let it slide, in order to see what he would come up with next.

[E.g.-I'm sometimes so Lib-ur-AL that I even supported Obamcare. (What's even worse is that I think that Canadian-type single-payer health care system would be even better!!)]

As I said, Harold was usually very forthright
(a lot of folks thought that he was much too forthright,
and some of his brothers and sisters were reported to have been worried that someone would shoot at him!).
But like the do-dah man said,
'You've got to play your hand,
Sometimes your cards ain't worth a damn,
If you don't lay 'em down...."

Listen Holmes,
We don't come into this life with an instruction manual. So the best that we can do is to keep our eyes open, observe what's going on,
use prudence and act accordingly,
and especially learn from experience!
It helps a lot to study the writings and/or sayings of the philosophers, both Christian and otherwise,
- those philosophers that people know and acknowledge,
and also those philosophers that have the good fortune to be unknown.

Listen Holmes,
Harold was a true original philosopher, whether he or others recognized it or not! He usually had some kind of witty thing to say, or something that was not witless to express, and I frequently learned from him.

Listen Holmes,
He once told me that when he was a contractor, that before he set his crew to working, he would ask each man how he was doing that morning, and
if the guy answered with something like, "I'm doing great; my wife laid me really good last night, and this morning she made me pancakes with maple syrup", then Harold would know that he would be getting good work from that guy that day, and not to hassle him very much. But if the guy would answer in the negative, or was being evasive, then Harold would spotcheck his work more, because the guy was just not in the groove.

Listen Holmes,
Harold also said, more or less, that we should not be proud or boastful about anything, because we're all just a bunch of little screwups trying to do the best we can, - "just a bunch of little screwups screwing up now & then, so it's no good trying to get a big head about it; let's just do the best we can..."

Listen Holmes,
Finally, I think that Harold would appreciate these few excerpts from "The Grateful Dead":

"Truckin', got my chips cashed in,
Keep truckin' like the do-dah man,
Together, more or less, in line
Just keep truckin' on...

...Arrows of neon and flashing marques out on Main Street,
Chicago, New York, Detroit, and it's all on the same street,
A typical city involved in a typical daydream,
Hang it up, and see what tomorrow brings...

...Truckin', like the do-dah man
Once told me,
'You've got to play your hand,
Sometimes your cards ain't worth a damn,
If you don't lay 'em down....

...Sometimes the light's all shining on me,
Other times I can barely see,
But lately it occurs to me
What a long strange trip it's been...

...You're sick of hanging around
and you'ld like to travel,
Get tired of travelin' and
you want to settle down.
I guess they can't revoke your soul for trying,
Get out of the door, get up
'n look all around...

Truckin', I'm a goin' home
Whoa, whoa baby, back where I belong.
Back home, sit down 'n patch my bones
'n get back truckin' on...
...get back truckin' home...

...Sometimes the light all shining on me,
Other times I can barely see,
But lately it occurs to me
-Harold Griffith, as remembered by brother-in-law Richard Rosewitz"

This tribute was added by Camille Dickerson on 23rd August 2014

"Although this is a tardy tribute I hope that my words can at least partially convey the way I felt about Harold. To me, he was so much more than a landlord. He was extremely caring and protective and, during my time as his tenant at 220 Northrop, he became somewhat of a father figure--always full of boundless knowledge and advice. I know that Harold lived a life full of excitement and rarely conformed to the norms of society. I value the experiences I had with him working on his farm, weeding for an hourly wage, and always looking forward to his life advice and anecdotes regarding money, love, long term investments and the government. Harold meant so much to me during my time in college and the lessons he taught me and stories he told me will remain forever ingrained. He was an incredibly intelligent and passionate man. I remained in touch with him for about a year after he stopped being my landlord and, although he told me that I would eventually lose touch, I naively didn't believe him. I regret that I let it happen, considering I had partially composed a long overdue email to him when I heard the news of his passing. I guess Harold is still always right and teaching me lessons in the after life. I know that my life isn't the only one he touched but, just know, to me, he is someone that I will never ever forget."

This tribute was added by Diane Griffith on 22nd July 2014

"Harold was gruff and caring at the same time.  He knew his mind and gave advise with wisdom and common sense.  He was a man of action and often worked behind the scenes.  He really cared about people and he wasn't too busy for them.  I remember when my son went to a conference at Stanford.  Uncle Harold picked him up at the airport,  made sure he was in the right place for the conference, then drove him around to visit other relatives.
   Harold was interested in the genealogy I had been working on and went further by visiting the places his family came from including going to Wales.  He visited Ohio and went to see the grave stones of his 2nd great grandparents in eastern Ohio and also visited Griffith, Indiana.  He found cousins, visited with them and really got to know them.
   Harold and Ginny were great hosts.  We usually stayed with them when we visited and they often hosted Thanksgiving and the special occasions we traveled to California for.
  Last time Paul and I visited, it struck me how similar the two brothers were in looks and personality.  They really enjoyed the banter back and forth and had a way of seeing things as they really were.
   We will miss him!"

This tribute was added by Katherine Woodthorp on 21st July 2014

"Harold's sense of what was right was so strong. And he hated when someone was being taken advantage of because they did not know how to protect themselves legally. Harold gave freely to others his immense gifts for legal research and knowledge of the law. He was a true patriot and loved what the legal system stood for: Justice that was blind to anything but the spirit and truth of the law. Once I asked him how I could repay him for his help and he told me all he asked for was for me to pay it forward to others. I always felt a little safer because of his presence in the community and my husband and I will miss him terribly. Bless you, Harold, for all you did for us. You gave us courage and support in a very difficult time and we are so grateful to you."

This tribute was added by Rhonda Sprague on 2nd July 2014

"Harold was a cherished friend for many years.  He was passionate about so many subjects, which always made for fascinating and spirited conversations.  His generosity to me and my family will never be forgotten.  I will continue to honor Harold's values for as long as I can make my own repairs to my house and property.  I feel honored to have had such a noble man in my life.  I learned something from Harold with every single encounter.  Fond memories of a great man.  
Serenity forever more."

This tribute was added by Mia Renauld on 30th June 2014

"Harold was a selfless man who was filled with sweetness and sugar in order to improve the lives of everyone with whom he had contact with. Beyond being the best landlord that I have ever had, he opened his heart and his mind to all of us at Northrop so that we could not only learn from him, but also count on him as a trusted friend. Harold went above and beyond to help in times of need and effortlessly made everyone smile and life. He radiated joy and happiness that will continue to radiate in our lives and memories."

This tribute was added by Jennifer Cain on 29th June 2014

"Harold was my landlord (the best in the world) and a great friend.

He truly cared about people and was always there to help. Always.

His will to do good made the world a better place, and I will miss this great man."

This tribute was added by David Kunis on 26th June 2014

"Harold certainly helped so many people in so many ways. He did have a few "hot buttons" but he was the best! I consider it a privilege and honor to have been his friend."

This tribute was added by John Crivello, Sr. on 26th June 2014

"I appreciate and cherish all Harold has done for our community, the world as well as for me personally.  His work for honesty, integrity and justice in government has not been given the public appreciation it is due against unlawful government wrongdoings.

Harold stands for and remain a remarkable stalwart, marveled prodigy,  and an astonishing paradigm for righteousness in government dealings.

May his legacy live on and grow in the harts and minds of all that rise to honesty, integrity, and righteousness for mankind."

This tribute was added by Patrick Dowd on 26th June 2014

"I lived in one of Harold's rentals for many years and he was always an outstanding and conscientious land lord. Harold thank you for the good you brought into this world and for the help you extended me and my family."

This tribute was added by Philip Baer on 26th June 2014

"I miss Harold. Here's one of the basic Haroldisms: "Always do the honorable thing"

This tribute was added by Kristen Stockton on 26th June 2014

"Jenny   Thank You for loving and taking care of this wonderful man

Harold  Sitting here  I am thinking of what to say  and all I can do
is smile   How wonderful   You made so much of a difference
all while making me (and I am sure so many others)  smile  One of a kind   that was Harold    We will miss you forever  TY for sharing your life with us"

This tribute was added by Marc Del Piero on 26th June 2014

"I had the honor and the true blessing to have been friends with Harold for many years. Losing Harold leaves us all saddened because his great selflessness and commitment to the protection of our legal and human rights were true gifts that he gave freely to the residents and the communities of the Monterey Bay area. We should all remember him often and fondly, particularly when we see "wrongs" that need to be corrected, and goals for the betterment of our communities that need to be achieved. Truly, a good man and a good friend."

This tribute was added by Judi Hunt on 26th June 2014

"Harold was one of a kind, a light in the darkness. I so appreciated his sense of humor, clear mindedness, simplicity, his willingness to help young people navigate their lives, his sense of justice and fairness. And most of all, I love him for loving my sis."

This tribute was added by Michael Riley on 26th June 2014

"Harold Griffith generously devoted his life to helping others and I was no exception. Whether we were printing a poster for a rock concert, moving a water-soaked timber from a deserted beach or building a barn Harold was always there to lend me a helping hand. With Harold each minute of every adventure was filled with his spirited conversation and brilliant insights, making him an absolute pleasure to spend time with. Life without Harold Griffith will simply not be the same. I will miss him dearly."

This tribute was added by Jane Baer on 26th June 2014

"I loved Harold Griffith very much and will always cherish his memory. From the bottom of my soul I seek to live up to his example. Thank you, Jenny, for taking care of our beloved hero. His mastery of subjects made him irreplaceable. His love towards my family members is also irreplaceable. RIP dear Harold"

This tribute was added by Paul Griffith on 25th June 2014

"Something our dad always told us: "If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing right." Everything Harold did, especially his paralegal services, epitomized this maxim. Already missed."

This tribute was added by Bulaich Nick on 25th June 2014

""Harold was one of my dearest friends.  A honest, brilliant, and kind man who touched so many people's lives in a positive manner in which we will never forget.  Losing him is extremely painful, but I thank him deeply for his true and caring friendship.  My heartfelt condolences to his wife Virginia who was always there for him.  Goodbye dear Harold, you were a real blast.""

This tribute was added by Kate Wells on 25th June 2014

"Harold selflessly helped countless individuals in their fights against government oppression and lawlessness;  and he never asked for a penny in return.  A truly wonderful man who will be missed by so many, including myself.  Rest in Peace Harold."

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This memorial is administered by:

Virginia Hunt


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