Dale Keith Griffee

Dale Keith Griffee

Died October 28, 1985

Born in Rugby, ND, Dale came to Yale from Panora Community School in Panora, IA. He lived in Morse, where he was an athletic aide to the master of Morse, majored in English and held the Theodore F. and Margaret G. Myers Scholarship.

After Yale he continued his studies at Wesleyan University.

After completing his education, Dale resided for many years in Panora, IA, and then Hamilton Township, NJ, where he taught English for 14 years at Princeton Day School and was permanent faculty advisor to the Judiciary Committee and faculty advisor to the Peer Group Program.

Dale died of a heart attack on October 28, 1985 at age 42, doing what he loved to do, teaching English. He is survived by his wife, Marlene Wood Griffee, a daughter, Tracey Anne, a son, Keith Leroy, his mother and two brothers.

C. Roger Davis remembers: Dale was the all-American boy next-door from rural Iowa, as easy to get along with as you can imagine. He was a Freshman roommate of mine, and geographically the closest member of our entering class (I was from Moline, Ill., on the border of Iowa). Our upperclass rooms were also pretty close in Morse College, where he was an athletic aide to the Master.

Not long after graduation, three of us friends from Freshman year and Morse attended his wedding (to Marlene, his high-school sweetheart, a nurse) in small-town mid-Iowa. That we were all willing to travel there was a tribute to his wonderful Midwestern normalcy and integrity and the quality of our friendship.

At some point during the wedding visit we were playing touch football, and I lost my ring. After a reasonable search of the field, Dave Cook observed, perhaps cynically, “Look at it this way: You’ll be able to say you lost your Yale class ring playing touch football at a classmate’s wedding in Iowa.” I realized immediately that he was right – and right to know that telling such a story would appeal to me, as I had never played touch football at any time before (or since), so the story gives me (undeserved) credibility with the sports crowd – potentially more valuable than the ring itself! (One of my Princeton student-friends, a blond surfer from California, has now been an NFL referee for 20 years.)

Dale earned an M.A.T. degree and taught English at the Miss Thomas School in Rowayton, CT, then at Princeton Day School, where he was an avid supporter of athletic and student functions and a popular faculty adviser to the peergroup program and the judicial committee.

In June, 1973 he was on hand to congratulate me when I received my Ph.D. at Princeton, and I gave what his family and students kindly regarded as an accurate and moving eulogy at his PDS memorial service, November 3, 1985. To my shame and embarrassment, I cannot find it to reprint here.