Darrel Griffith: 1930-2014
April 17, 2014
Darrel Duane Griffith was born Feb. 8, 1930 in Dupree S.D., to Carl and Maude Griffith. He was born the youngest of 13 children. The family moved to their new ranch between Faith and Dupree when Darrel was 3 years old. From that time on, that ranch was his home. Darrel quit school in the eighth grade to help at the ranch during some hard and trying times.
In 1950, at the age of 20, he married the love of his life, Marlene Joyce Dore, and for 64 years they raised cattle, horses and ran a horse training facility. When his father passed away and his mother became ill, Darrel bought the place and he and Marlene worked, played and raised five children together on their 5,000 acre ranch. His passion for training horses eventually became his primary way of making a living with outside horses coming in from all over the upper Midwest and beyond as his reputation grew rapidly. He put up an indoor riding barn in 1966 and for quite some time, his training business was booked two years in advance. Darrel started announcing rodeos for Eddy Bachman and went on to announce for many years for various contractors. He competed in the bareback riding and calf roping and went on to show his clients' horses and his own horses in competition excelling in calf roping, cutting and reining. Many horses he trained went on to win numerous state and some national titles with his own horse, Miss Boog, winning the National High School cutting title carrying his daughter, Terri. Because of his reputation in the cutting horse industry, he was invited to Washington, D.C. by the Smithsonian Institute, to perform every day for a week in a temporary arena erected between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. He wanted to ride his horse up the steps and stand beside President Lincoln's statue to have his picture taken, but refrained due to the amount of mounted police present. He touched many young lives, helping them develop their horsemanship and cutting skills.
Darrel enjoyed music and he played guitar and piano and had many a jam session with family and friends in his home. Just one more thing Darrel was known for was his trained working dogs. He loved to show them off whether it be bringing in the cattle from the pasture or performing tricks, he never tired of discovering something new that could be taught to them. Recently his dogs were renowned for their piano playing and basketball playing skills. He enjoyed life to the fullest and was very active in his kids' sports activities and was always game for a practical joke or two. Darrel gave his life to the Lord and loved to sit down and open his well-worn Bible every morning before his day began. He was instrumental in leading several to the Lord, even baptizing his granddaughter and nephew.
Darrel passed away peacefully in his home April 10 at the age of 84 with his family by his side.
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Darrel is survived by his wife, Marlene, his daughters Debbie Stewart and Terri (Phil) Kissack of Spearfish, S.D.; his sons, Jim (Kim) Griffith of BenBrook, Texas, Doug Griffith of Discovery Bay, Calif., Rick Griffith of Spearfish, S.D.; one sister, Neva Samuelson also of Spearfish, S.D. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his father, mother, 11 brothers and sisters and two grandchildren.
The funeral service for was April 15, 2014, at the Faith Community Center.
Serving as casketbearers were Bo Griffith, Austin Griffith, Willie Griffith, Callie Davis, Jesse Beesley, Billie Jo Beesley, Dane Kissack, Ryan Griffith, Erin Griffith, and Alyssa Griffith. All friends and relatives were considered honorary bearers.
A memorial has been established.