Obituary: Michael “Dennis” Griffin, Jr

Published 3:30 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

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Michael “Dennis” Griffin, Jr, age 16, passed away Sept. 27 at UAB hospital. Dennis was a loving son and brother, devoted friend, and fierce competitor. He lit up a room with his personality and warmth, and never knew a stranger.

Dennis is survived by his loving parents, Mr. and Mrs. Michael D. Griffin, Sr. (Amanda Whaley Griffin), of Tuscaloosa, and his two sisters, Sheri Griffin Powers (Beau) of Gardendale, and Elizabeth Michael Griffin of Fairhope. He is also survived by his maternal grandmother, Sue Ella Whitfield Mitchell Whaley of Greensboro, a nephew, Silas Lee Powers of Gardendale, two nieces, Cheyenne Moon Powers of Gardendale and Imogene Eloise Johnson of Fairhope, along with numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Dennis is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Michel and Louise Griffin of Birmingham, and his maternal grandfather, Fred McClain Whaley, of Greensboro.

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Dennis was born on July 31, 2007. He was a Junior at Northridge High School in Tuscaloosa. He was a student athlete and member of the Northridge High School Varsity Soccer team. Dennis was also a member of the Tuscaloosa United Competition Elite ‘07 Soccer team. Dennis loved to smile and smiled with his whole being. He came into this world smiling and freely shared that infectious smile with everyone he met.

Dennis had a heart bigger than the world, and he loved hard. He loved the Lord, and he loved his family and friends. Dennis was an active member of Young Life Tuscaloosa. He gave his life to Christ on June 3, 2022, while at Carolina Point, a Young Life Camp. Dennis often said that week in North Carolina was the best of his life.  In fact, he returned to Carolina Point during the summer of 2023, as a member of the work crew, where he and his fellow workers spent two weeks washing dishes in what is affectionately called “the pits”.

Dennis was a friend to his very core, and his friend group was large and varied. He did not pick and choose friends, but included all who came into his sphere. Over the past week, it was said often, and by many, that Dennis was everyone’s best friend. Dennis’ light touched so many, and in return, he was loved by so many. In true Dennis fashion, and in keeping with his love of people, Dennis asked to be an organ donor.  His selfless choice saved the lives of 8 other people. Dennis leaves behind him a legacy of kindness, godliness, and hope.

The celebration of Dennis’ life was held on Oct. 6 at Church of the Highlands. A graveside service at Tuscaloosa Memorial Park followed the service at Church of the Highlands.

Pallbearers are Jeff Smith, Adam Shockley, Tom Hale, Blaine Wiley, Ward McFarland, Bruce McVeagh, and Dennis’ father, Michael Dennis Griffin, Sr.

Honorable Pallbearers will be Aiden Avery, Callie Clark, Jackson Fikes, Pablo Gomez, Aaron Guevara, Matthew Hale, John Lawson May, Wells McFarland, Ella Kate Murphy, Josie Murphy, Caleb Scofield, Ethan Shockley, Tanner Shockley, Madison Simpson, Anderson Smith, Lydia Smith, Hayden Wiley, Landon Wiley, the members of the Northridge High School Varsity Soccer team, the members of the Tuscaloosa United Elite Competition Teams ‘06, ‘07, and ‘08, the 2023 Carolina Point Work Crew #3, and Megan Klimek, director of the Legacy of Hope foundation at UAB hospital.

In lieu of flowers, Dennis’ Family asks that you consider donating to the Suicide Prevention Foundation.