Rutledge Avalon (
Rutledge Avalon ("Rusty") Griffin, Jr. 75, of Valdosta, died suddenly on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, at South Georgia Medical Center.
He was born in Valdosta on August 22, 1944 at the Little Griffin Hospital, to the late R.A ("Grits") & Annie Kate Griffin. During his high school years, Rusty moved to Gainesville to attend Riverside Military Academy but insisted to his parents that he return to Valdosta High School in his junior year to play for legendary football coach, Wright Bazemore. He treasured the State Championship the team won the following year and the close friendships formed with teammates for the rest of his life. He graduated from VHS in 1962.
He went on to graduate from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in agriculture and a minor in business in 1966. Following graduation, he served in the Air Force Reserve, before returning to Valdosta and joining his father in the family business. Following his father's untimely death in 1970, Rusty became the President and Chief Executive Officer of Parramore & Griffin Seed Company.
Under his leadership, the company transformed from a distributor of agricultural chemicals operating in three southeastern states to a basic manufacturer of branded Ag Chem products, operating in virtually every major U.S. market and over 80 foreign countries. The business, reamed Griffin Corp, became known both for its highly innovative and family-friendly culture. Rusty believed profoundly in conducting business according to biblical principles. He found tremendous satisfaction in what Griffin Corp was able to do for his employees and their families' in places as far-flung as Europe and Brazil. The business sold to DuPont in 2003.
Rusty was always eager to contribute to the development of his local community and the State of Georgia. He was active in the Valdosta Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce, serving on committees and in various leadership positions. In the early 1980's he was invited to join the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) which gave him the opportunity to contribute to many other organizations around the country.
Rusty's service to the State of Georgia assumed many forms. For several years he was a member of the Georgia Ports Authority board. In 2010 Governor Sonny Perdue asked him to serve on the Georgia Board of Regents, after which he became a trustee emeritus for the University of Georgia Foundation. He also served for nearly 30 years on the board of directors for Herschend Family Entertainment. Recently, Rusty found the time to contribute back to Riverside Military Academy, this time as its Chairman.
Rusty had a servant's heart and dedicated himself to be the hands and feet of Christ to people across a broad spectrum. He was passionate about challenging and engaging others in the many ministries he supported, such as FCA, The Mailbox Club, Kairos, Options Now and many others. His desired to spread the name of Jesus across the globe. He was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church.
Outdoor activities such as hunting and shooting were favorite pastimes. He loved to read and learn about history and talk with family and friends about life's great questions.
Most of all Rusty Griffin was a family man. He saw his entire life in the context of family: the legacy of faith he had inherited from his paternal grandmother (Gran Gran), what his father taught him about integrity at all costs, the blessing of his loving wife, and the immense gift of his three daughters and nine grandchildren. He saw his legacy as consisting in these rising generations.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara Talley Griffin of Valdosta; three daughters and sons-in-law, Amy & Kevin King of Valdosta, Wendy & Chuck Rogers of Richmond, VA, Katie & Thomas Reed of Valdosta; nine granddaughters, Emilie-Grace King, Carson King, Shiloh King, Bailey Rogers, Josie Rogers, Piper Rogers, Talley Reed, Emma Reed, Tamsen Reed; and a sister in law and brother in law, Kay & Bob Jenkins of Savannah. He is preceded in death by his sister, Karen Griffin.
The funeral for Rusty will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at First United Methodist Church. Rev. Whit Byram and Rev. Bob Ellis will officiate. A private family committal will follow at McLane Riverview Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends on Friday evening from 5 until 7 p.m. at Carson McLane Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, make memorial gifts to the Mailbox Club, 404 Eager Road, Valdosta, GA 31602, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or Kairos, P.O. Box 382, Valdosta, GA 31603. Condolences may be conveyed to the family on the obituary page of Carson McLane Funeral Home
Published on November 6, 2019


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John & Sara Daugharty
Nov 10, 2019
Dear Barbara & family, So sadden to hear of
Rusty’s passing., with our condolences to each of you. So Grateful for his friendship to my Brother and knowing they are together again.
May your beautiful memories give you comfort and peace in the Love of God. Blessings .
Sara and John
Louis Levy
Nov 09, 2019
I will always remember Rusty's leadership on the Georgia Board of Regents. He was a kind, thoughtful person. He will be missed. Condolences to Barbara and family.
Louis Levy
Nelda S. Browning
Nov 08, 2019
Barbara and family,
May the precious memories of Rusty be a comfort to you now, and may it help to know that many thoughts and prayers are with you in your sorrow. His life was well-lived, not in counting the years, but in how he made the years count. Peace, Strength, Healing and Love to you.
Jim and Kelly Gregory
Nov 07, 2019
Our deepest sympathy to Wendy, Chuck, Bailey, Josie and Piper. We hope that the God of all creation comforts you and sustains you through this difficult time. Much love, Jim, Kelly and Mia
James & Sandra Blessett
Nov 07, 2019
Katie, we are so sorry to hear about your dad. May your memories give you comfort & peace. God bless you & your family. We are Jessica Moore's parents.
Nov 07, 2019
Fall Fantasia was purchased for the family of Rutledge Avalon ("Rusty") Griffin, Jr..  Send flowers
Evangelist Lucious Dickey
Nov 07, 2019
My condolences and prayers to the family. My Kairos brother will be truly missed. He just gave a powerful prayer to team as we embark on our weekend Walk! Rusty RIP b/c we all know you are now present with God!
Fred & Nancy Kennedy
Nov 06, 2019
Barbara & Family :
We are saddened by Rusty’s passing. He did so much for so many. He will be missed.
Our hearts and prayers are with you.