John Griffin

John Joseph "Jackie" Griffin Jr.

Thursday, February 12th, 1959 - Tuesday, August 25th, 2020
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John Joseph Griffin Jr., "Jackie", 61, of Simsbury, formerly of West Hartford passed away peacefully on August 25, 2020 after a brief illness. Jackie was well known and loved by all who met him. Jackie participated in the first Special Olympics ever held in Connecticut. Jackie was hooked after that track and field competition. In addition to track and field, Jackie competed in basketball, bowling, swimming, skiing, sailing and golf as a Special Olympian. Jackie was picked to be on the 1987 Connecticut Special Olympics team competing in the 1987 International Games at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. Jackie won many medals and ribbons including a medal in one of his swimming events at the International Games. Jackie also became a spokesperson for Special Olympics, speaking at different events. Jackie was a 1980 graduate of Conard High School where he received a standing ovation from his classmates at graduation. Jackie worked for years at JC Penney in the Westfarms Mall, starting in their restaurant and then moving to the housekeeping department. Jackie then worked for CW Resources where his jobs changed daily but included delivering meals on wheels and cleaning.
Most important to Jackie was his family. Jackie leaves his parents, John and Frances (Boyle) Griffin of West Hartford, his sister and brother in law Kathleen and Tom Rooney of Norwood, MA, his nieces Amanda and Emily Rooney of Norwood, MA, many cousins and his extended Rooney Family. Jackie was pre-deceased by his sister Lynn Griffin. Jackie’s family and friends will miss him dearly.
A funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00am on Friday August 28th at The Church of St Brigid in West Hartford, CT. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford. Due to the coronavirus, a celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Jackie’s name to Special Olympics Connecticut, 2666 State Street Suite 1, Hamden, CT 06517or a charity of your choice. To share memories of Jackie or to leave the family an online condolence, please visit
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Fairview Cemetery
    200 Whitman Avenue
    West Hartford, CT 06107
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Jackie’s name to Special Olympics Connecticut, 2666 State Street Suite 1, Hamden, CT 06517 or a charity of your choice.
A funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Friday August 28th at The Church of St Brigid in West Hartford, CT. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford.


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Posted at 07:44pm
Jackie will be missed! We loved his antics and our favorite story is when Kim brought her boyfriend to a family gathering to meet more of the extended Rooney family, Unbeknownst to any of us every time Jackie walked by her boyfriend, Jackie would tap his ring finger and point at him. This apparently went on all afternoon! We found out after we got into the car to drive home and found it hysterical! When i told Kathleen the next day, she of course was horrified. We were very blessed to have Jackie in our lives for so many years! The Malkoski's

Suzanne Dannolfo

Posted at 09:24pm
To Jackie's parents, John and Frances and Kathleen,
Our hearts and thoughts are with you on the passing of your amazing son, Jackie. Jackie always had a special place in our lives since meeting him at Conard when he was one of our students and many years later at Frank's 80th birthday party at Rockledge.
Some students just find a niche in your heart and stay there forever....and Jackie was one of them. He brought great joy to our lives as well as those with whom he interacted. We are so grateful for our experiences together. We will continue to honor Jackie's memory with a donation to Special Olympics. With deepest sympathy and love, Frank and Suzi D'Annolfo

Tom Hickey

Posted at 10:35am
Dear Griffin Family,
Please know we are with you in spirit and look forward to celebrating Jackie's life with all of you at a future date. Like all, we have only wonderful and loving memories of Jackie. Shevon and I were talking about all the stories Mr. Sweeney would have about Jackie from the days at JC Penney. Such great memories!
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
God Bless,
Tom, Shevon, Garrett and Heather Hickey

Cheryl Murphy

Posted at 01:29pm
Dear Kathleen & Family,
We are sorry to hear that your brother Jackie has passed. He was quite the athlete & Olympic Medalist! We will miss his kind heart, friendly personality & smile at Amanda & Emily's parties. God has been given an angel & he will look after your family. Much love, Cheryl & Erin Murphy

Susan Clayton

Posted at 08:35pm
Fran and Jack,
I was so sorry to hear Jackie crossed over. He was such a sweet soul. He was so much fun at sailing. My favorite story was when a niece/nephew was expected and he wanted to know if it was going to be an athlete or a helper. He was quite a character and was loved by the sailing team. Jeremiah and I will miss him. Sending lots of love hugs and prayers to you and the family.

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