News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 6, 2013

Paul Thomas Griffith

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The Tribune-Star

PALMYRA, Ill. — PALMYRA, Ill. —  Paul Thomas Griffith, teacher, author, and leader in his profession, passed away on April 2, 2013, at his home in rural Macoupin County, Ill. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul A. Griffith of Terre Haute, Ind., in 1967; and Margaret Griffith McNeil also of Terre Haute, in 2004; and by his nephew, Steve Griffith of Worthington, Ohio, in 1989.  

Griffith is survived by brother, Jim Griffith; sister-in-law, Sherry Griffith; niece, Gail Griffith; nephew, Tom Griffith, and wife of the latter, Tara (Hughes), all residents of Columbus, Ohio. Griffith also is fondly remembered by his close friend and co-worker of many years, Ronald E. Sauberli of Palmyra, Ill.  

Burial will be from the Davis-Anderson Funeral Home in Girard on Monday, April 8, 2013, at 2 p.m. CDT, in Oak Grove Cemetery, south of Modesto.

 Griffith, who has taught at the elementary, high school, and post secondary levels, taught French and foreign language teaching methodology at the University of Illinois in Urbana from 1967 to 1973, where he supervised a cadre of teaching assistants. From 1973 to 1992, Griffith was the supervisor of Foreign Languages and International Studies at the Illinois State Board of Education. After his retirement from the Illinois State Board of Education, he accepted the position of executive director of the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (I.C.T.F.L.), a statewide organization for foreign language teachers headquartered in Springfield.  He retired from this position in 2006 and moved to his farm in Palmyra.

 During his career, Griffith was the chief executive officer of the Council for Study Abroad, an organization responsible for large numbers of American secondary school students traveling to England, France, Germany, Mexico and Spain, to study in specially designed programs of language and culture in host schools. He was the lead author of a series of Spanish textbooks published by Scott, Foresman titled "Churros y chocolate" and "Plazas y paisajes."  Also during that time, Griffith was decorated by the French government with both the first and second levels of the Palmes Acedemiques for his contributions to the teaching of the French Language.

 Griffith is well remembered by friends and fellow-members of the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, associations in which he was a prominent member and generous contributer.

 Memorials for Paul Griffith may be sent to the American Cancer Society.