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Thomas Griffith, 87, of Marquette, died early Monday morning, May 21, 2018 at the Norlite Nursing Center where he had resided for one week.

Tom was born on June 22, 1930 in Minneola, Kansas, to the late Tom and Elizabeth (Schlicting) Griffith. He received Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees from Kansas State University and a PhD in chemistry from Michigan State University.

Tom and his family moved to Marquette in 1962 where he and his wife, Gail, joined the faculty at Northern Michigan University He was employed at NMU from 1962-1992 where he served as former head of the Chemistry Department, Dean of the College of Arts and Science, and was involved in the Upper Peninsula Medical Education Program.

He was a recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award from NMU and was a member of the Marquette Unitarian Universalist Congregation. In his free time, Tom enjoyed hiking, fishing, skiing, and golfing. He was a former member of the Marquette Golf Club and the NMU Blue Line Club. He was a huge NMU hockey fan as well as an avid fan of the Detroit Redwings and the Green Bay Packers.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 60 years, Gail (formerly Brown), whom he married on June 28, 1958 at Centerline, Michigan. They met one another while attending Michigan State University. Also surviving are three children, Leslie (Eric Maskin) Griffith of Weston, MA, Lindsay Griffith of Marquette and Lauren (Tim White) Griffith of Hamilton, Ontario; five grandchildren, Emma Griffith and Bennet Karel, Ian, Alexandra and Evan White; also several nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death besides his parents were two brothers, Sam and Edwin Griffith as well as a sister, Mary.

The Griffith family will greet relatives and friends on Saturday, June 23rd at the Canale-Tonella Funeral Home from 1 to 3 p.m. with a memorial celebration to commence at 3 p.m. in the funeral home.

Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy are kindly asked to consider the United Way of Marquette County in Dr. Griffith’s memory.

The Griffith family encourages former students, family and friends to share memories and photos they have of Dr. Griffith on the Canale-Tonella Funeral Home website at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of THOMAS GRIFFITH, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Canale-Tonella Location

526 North Third Street
Marquette, Michigan 49855

Memorial Service




3:00 PM
Canale-Tonella Location

526 North Third Street
Marquette, Michigan 49855

Memorial Contribution

United Way of Marquette County

1414 W. Fair Ave.
Marquette, MI 49855

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