William E. Griffin
In Memoriam (1932-2012)
Our founding partner, mentor and friend, William E. Griffin, passed away on September 1, 2012. Bill founded the law firm in September 1964 and throughout his career developed a reputation as one of the outstanding lawyers in the county, state and beyond. Bill was a Yonkers native who graduated from Manhattan College (B.A.) in 1954 and from Villanova University (J.D.) in 1959 on a fellowship. Bill served in the U.S. Army, Department of Audit Agency, from 1954 through 1956 and later served as Research Counsel to New York Lieutenant Governor Malcolm Wilson from 1960 through 1963. He was elected as a member of the Westchester County Board of Supervisors from 1963 through 1965.
Bill’s first major client was Precision Valve Corporation which was one of the major manufacturing companies in the county with manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Through his representation of Robert Abplanalp, the principal owner of Precision Valve Corporation, Bill was instrumental in the formation of Hudson Valley Bank and became one of its founders. The bank was organized with the collaboration of several prominent Yonkers business leaders. Bill was a director of the bank since its organization in 1972 and served as the Chairman of the Board of Hudson Valley Holding Corp. and Hudson Valley Bank. Through Bill’s stewardship as Chairman, the bank grew from a four hundred million dollar bank to a $2.8 billion dollar bank.
Throughout his legal career, Bill represented many prominent clients, including President Richard Nixon, who visited the Bronxville office. Bill was a member of the President’s Council for the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation. He was equally accomplished in his charitable endeavors which he preferred to do quietly. He served as a Knight of Malta of the Roman Catholic Church, was Chairman of the Thomas and Agnes Carvel Charitable Foundation, a Board Member of the St. Joseph’s Health Fund, a member of the Development Committee of St. Joseph’s Seminary and director of numerous organizations including the Msgr. Robert Fox Memorial Shelter for battered women, Msgr. Robert Fox Men’s Shelter Housing Corp., the Hudson Valley National Foundation and the Northern Ireland Children’s Enterprise (NICE). Bill was also a former President of the Board of Stewards for the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Westchester County Chapter and he remained active in the organization until his death.
His remarkable life was recognized in his funeral mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on September 6th which was concelebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Cardinal Edward Egan. It was truly a privilege to work with him all these years and he will be profoundly missed.