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 www.SheehanHilbornBreen.com