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In Memoriam - Tony Griffiths

Tony Griffiths
Griffiths, John Anthony “Tony” 
Tony Griffiths died peacefully on May 20, 2019, at his home in Ottawa at the age of 87. He started life in Market Drayton, England, where he enjoyed an idyllic childhood and became a champion swimmer and winner of several ballroom dance competitions with his sister Marjorie. From there, he moved to London to pursue his dream of becoming an architect. After graduating from the London Polytechnic, his talent and charm got him a job at the prestigious firm Powell and Moya, where he helped breathe new modernist life into the ancient buildings of Oxford and Cambridge. He met and married his fellow architect wife, Nan, in 1959, and they enjoyed 14 exciting years in swinging London before moving to Ottawa, Nan’s hometown, with their young children, Eliza and Anna. Tony distinguished himself with many successful buildings as part of Murray and Murray Architects in Ottawa before establishing his own practice with Alex Rankin and John Cook in 1985. GRC Architects thrives still as a leader in sustainable design-build architecture and Tony’s legacy is found in a wide variety of buildings, from the Canadian High Commission in Jamaica to the University of Malawi, to many buildings across Ottawa including the Kuwaiti Embassy, GCTC Theatre Company, Festival Plaza at City Hall, Churchill Public School and Ray Friel Recreation Centre. His career is distinguished by numerous awards and honorary appointments including the presidency of the Ontario Association of Architects in 1996. Tony was also a talented artist, writer and passionate fan of poetry. After retiring, he successfully applied to a Master’s program in poetry at the University of Edinburgh. While he decided not to pursue it, he continued to write and leaves a cherished collection of witty soulful work and a large collection of sketchbooks and cartoon portraits that evoke many happy memories and experiences. Tony was an adventurous, talented, funny man with friends across the world. He adored spending time at his cottage in the Gatineau Hills and roaming the Cevennes mountains and sipping beer in the ancient village near the home he and Nan built in le Mejanel, France. Tony became a dedicated caregiver to Nan through her struggle with Alzheimer’s and will be deeply missed by his daughters, Eliza and Anna, his son-in-law, Malcolm, 2 grand-daughters, Isla and Georgia, his sister Marjorie, his nephews, Chris and Nick, his niece Diana, and the many friends and colleagues who loved him. Our heartfelt thanks to the caregivers who helped make it possible for Tony to stay at home to the end. A visitation with the family will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. on June 28, 2019, at Hulse Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod Street, Ottawa (at O’Connor). The service celebrating his life and reception will follow on Saturday, June 29, at the same location starting at 2:00 p.m.

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