Doane Beal & Ames

160 West Main Street, Hyannis, MA


James J. Griffin, "Jimmy"

April 5, 1932May 20, 2020
Play Tribute Movie

James J. Griffin, “Jimmy” of Centerville, MA, formerly of Brookline, MA passed from our lives on May 20, 2020.

The leader of our band, James J. Griffin, known to all as Jimmy, transitioned to peace and God’s care on May 20, 2020 at age 88. Jimmy was born in Brookline, MA on April 5, 1932 the third child of James M. Griffin and Catherine (Concannon) Griffin of Galway, Ireland.

Jimmy grew up on what is known as the Farm in Brookline Village where at a very early age he shared a special and loving bond with his father over the love of music and song. This love was a passion for Jimmy his entire life and he passed it on to his first son Michael.

Between father and son, they inspired The Griffin’s, to include Michael and four of his siblings, who over the 60’s and 70’s toured New England with their version of Irish and American folk music and their Dad’s motto We’ll Make the Rafters Roar! He was a self-taught and accomplished Irish accordion player and balladeer who loved to break out the squeeze box and regale all.

Jimmy’s love of his family was his pride and joy and together with his wife and soul mate of 67 years, Kathleen (Murray) raised eight children. He was an exceptional Dad to his children and very early on instilled a sense of limitless optimism and opportunity. He encouraged always and disciplined rarely, always being sure to protect the spirit in each of his children.

As a young man with a growing family, Jimmy enrolled in Northeastern University’s engineering program. He studied at night to become a Civil Engineer and started his career with the US Army Corps of Engineers. He then went on to become a Supervisor for the Town of Brookline’s Engineering Department. His attention to detail in drafting survey plans is legendary. As he took his family of ten on long rides in his red VW bus he took immense pride in pointing out the many projects he helped bring to life in Brookline and surrounding cities and towns.

Jimmy retired in 1977 and he, Kathy and family moved to Cape Cod (Centerville, MA), where Jimmy enrolled at the University of Massachusetts and went on to get his Bachelor of Arts in English. He was a gifted writer and was very fond of writing poetry.

Jimmy’s compass for justice was set at true North and he didn’t miss an opportunity, both early and late in life, to express his point of view and participate in remedying injustice. He was politically active and a lifelong Democrat serving as a Town Meeting Member in his home town of Brookline for many years.

He had many sayings he imparted daily to his family but perhaps the one that captures best the man and father was, “I love you and I’m proud of you…in that order”.

Sobriety was also a very important part of Jimmy’s life. He was very, very active in Alcoholics Anonymous in greater Boston and on the Cape for over sixty years. He sponsored hundreds of people in the AA program and helped thousands through their sobriety journey.

He was Papa to his many grandchildren and great grandchildren and shared his love of music with all of them. He honored his father’s last wish to keep the Irish music going. Papa made the rafters roar!

Jimmy leaves behind his loving family; wife Kathleen (Murray) Griffin; children Maureen A. Griffin and Michael Putnam of Sudbury, MA; the late Michael J. Griffin of Centerville, MA; Kevin J. Griffin and partner Bonnie Perkins of Merrimack, MA; James M. and Carolynn Griffin of Framingham, MA; Sean F. and Lizbeth Griffin of Osterville, MA; Katie Griffin McIntyre of Brookline, MA and the late Jeff McIntyre; Karen M. Griffin and Ben Ghamami of White Plains, NY; Liam K. and Amy Griffin of San Clemente, CA; his grandchildren Conor Griffin, Alex Putnam, Kyle Griffin, Emily Griffin, Griffin McIntyre, and his wife Haley, Seamus Griffin and his wife Michele, Nathaniel Putnam, McCall McIntyre, Sean Griffin and his wife Carolina, Keira McIntyre, Bridget Griffin, Taylor Beech, Tucker McIntyre, Brianna Griffin, Emma Griffin, Addison Griffin, Liam Griffin, Ryan Everett and Sean Ghamami; his great-grandchildren Declan Griffin and Caelyn Griffin and his loving sister Mary Prendergast and numerous nieces and nephews. Jimmy will join his son, Michael J. Griffin, together with his parents and brothers Michael, William and Kevin in Eternal Life.

Due to public health concerns, there will be a private family burial. A Celebration of Life Service will be announced at a later date. For online condolences, please visit www.doanebealamehyannis.com.

Jimmy acquired COVID-19 while in the care of Cape Regency in Centerville, MA.


  • A Celebration of Life Service will be announced at a later date.


James J. Griffin, "Jimmy"

have a memory or condolence to add?

Chip Story

June 1, 2020

Your God was Love and your religion was kindness.
What a legacy ! Thank you for all that you passed on to so many of us and rest peacfully and assured that we will be passing it on for a long time to come.
It was truly an honor and a pleasure to know you and call you friend.
Thanks Jimmy

Barry Blanchard

June 1, 2020

I remember Jimmy well from the years I spent visiting my mother at the Cape Regency. I enjoyed our talks and the concern he always expressed for others. He was always there to say hi to me every day. My sincere condolences to the entire family.

Kathryn Lennon

May 31, 2020

Jimmy, thank you for your many many hugs and kind words but especially telling me to be gentle with myself. Your stories about Charlie will always be on my mind. Now you get to look over all of us. Rest easy you wonderful man.

Phil Newton

May 31, 2020

Jimmy G as you were known ! Forever grateful for being a part my life Jimmy , you welcomed me back buy simply saying , Its good to see ya kid be gentle on yourself ! I’ll never forget you Jimmy ! Rest Easy Jimmy love ya 🙏❤️

Jeffrey Stranger

May 31, 2020

Jimmy G was the kindness person I met. He loved his kids and always talked about them
Jimmy saved my life and has been my temporary sponsor for the last 25 years

God bless you. and thank you

Jeffrey Stranger

May 31, 2020

Jimmy G saved my life when i first came into the halls of AA. Saved my life. Jimmy has been my temporary sponsor for25 years. You saved so many lifes your kindness and compassion for all these years

Bonnie Santiago

May 31, 2020

To The Griffin Family. Please accept my sincerest condolences. Sending my support and uplift with prayers and well wishes during this trying time. May reflections and fond memories give you strength and comfort. May he rest in peace.

Malini Frederick

May 29, 2020

Jimmy G., as he was know to me, was one of the kindest people I have ever met. I moved to Centerville in 1995 and became acquainted with him at some point after that. I feel that I have known him forever. I can attest to the fact that he touched me in the way that he touched and helped so many others. His presence is sorely missed.

Margie Stock

May 27, 2020

Katie and kids, so sorry to hear of you Dad and Grandpa’s passing. He sure sounds like an awesome man. What a blessing that you had him in your lives.

Thinking of you all,
Mrs. Stock (😉)

Steven Aiken

May 27, 2020

Never my sponsor, always my friend, mentor, and a second dad. I have been missing your presence in my life for years. Rest in peace.


Mom and Dad


Shineye in High School


Dad and Billy with Nana and Molly


Dad looking spiffy!


Dad with Molly, Billy and Nana


Learn more about the Griffin, "Jimmy" name