William "Bill" Anderson Griswold

May 27, 1927December 26, 2020

On December 26th, 2020, William “Bill” Anderson Griswold, 93, joined Vesta, his wife of 69 years in heavenly glory.

A Nashville native, Bill was a man of action, dedication, and tenacity. His lifelong love of the outdoors was sparked at the early age of five by his uncle who was a scoutmaster in a local troop who let him tag along as a troop mascot. His high character was molded by his mother and uncle, but mostly by his grandfather. His favored activities were many, some spawned from necessity and others grew from his outdoor passion. These included: Engineering, Airplanes, Carpentry, Cabinetry, Electronics, Scouting, Hiking, Archery, Astronomy, and especially White-water canoeing. Bill and Vesta were key players in the National Scenic Rivers law.

Bill’s tenacity pulled him through several close calls with death. He occasionally questioned why he was unable to join his wife, after her passing. God was not yet finished with him.

William was known by many titles such as: Engineer, Scoutmaster, Director, Instructor, Husband, Father, and Friend. His names were just as numerous: William in professional documents, Bill to his many friends, Billy was the name used by his wife, mother, and his granddaddy, a few called him Griz, three called him Dad, six called him Granddaddy, and seven knew him as Great-Granddaddy.

His activities, likes, and duties were many, but in front of them all was his passion for his God, his wife and family, and his friends. It is worth noting that he had a wonderful knack for turning strangers into friends.

Bill is survived by his three sons, Bill Jr, Andy, and John, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

On Friday, January 1, at Mount Olivet Funeral Home there will be a gathering of family and friends from twelve noon until two o’clock. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at two o’clock with internment immediately following in Historic Mount Olivet Cemetery. There will be a military honor guard at the graveside.

For those who feel uncomfortable in groups, or with prohibiting medical conditions, the service will be streamed live on Facebook:@MountOlivetFuneralHome Please donate to your own charities in Bill’s name in lieu of flowers. Please share a memory or offer condolences by visiting


  • Gathering of Family and Friends

    Friday, January 1, 2021

  • Celebration of LIfe Service

    Friday, January 1, 2021



William "Bill" Anderson Griswold

have a memory or condolence to add?

Larry Thoman

January 3, 2021

I first met Bill through TSRA canoe trips. My lasting impression of Bill on these trips was how incredibly smooth he was. Many of us joked that Bill must surely have a hidden motor in his canoe, as that would be the only explanation how he could go so far with so few paddle strokes, while the rest of us struggled to keep up with him. My most memorable trip with Bill was a Coldwater Camp trip to the Smokies. Bill also invited Dick Wooten along, so it was Bill, Dick, and I in the car. And what an entertaining trip it was! Bill reveled us with his many exploits and engineering knowledge. At one point along the trip, he pointed out a concrete picnic table alongside the roadway, and said he designed that table. Then he explained how and why he designed the table. As a fellow product designer, I appreciated his attention to detail and the obvious intelligence needed to make such a design. All from a simple picnic table! Another memory from that trip was Bill telling us that on such trips, he often practiced seeing how long he could hold his breath, just in case he needed that skill to save his life should something go wrong. I will never forget him telling us that his record was something like 3.5 to 4 minutes! All while driving down the highway at 65 MPH! I'm lucky to hold my breath for 1 minute. And Dick and Bill gave me plenty of laughs and smiles by sharing stories about how they used to pull jokes on one another. We stayed at a cabin that weekend and I must now confess that I was the party behind a joke I & my cohorts (who will remain nameless) pulled on Dick. While Dick was out canoeing, we hoisted his canoe up to the rafters of the cabin and there it was when he got back! Good harmless fun and many a surprised face that night. I will miss you Bill. Thank you for all the fun times, warm friendship, great conversations, cheerful disposition, rewarding work, and lasting memories. You inspire me!

John P Williams

January 1, 2021

Bill was a fine Christian man and very faithful member at Calvary UMC. I was his neighbor on Albert Drive when I was pastor at Glendale. Later I visited him many times as Minister of Community Care at Calvary. I had a serious wreck three years ago and had to give up my staff position. I was in Vesta's service and wish I could have been with you today,, but I don't drive anymore. Precious Memories, How they Linger!
Rev. John Williams

Sidney and Dick Wooten

January 1, 2021

Sidney and Dick know that Bill is now paddling a canoe on some beautiful heavenly river, and we wish the rapids will be difficult but we know Bill will conquer them. Happy sailing!

Bob Miller

January 1, 2021

Bill was a lifelong friend, a canoeing partner, a fellow river protector, and just a truly all around gentleman.

Bill, you will be missed. Paddle to a better place. Maybe we can do some rivers there together some day.

Bob Miller

Sandra Vance

December 30, 2020

My Uncle Billy was the fun uncle. Our families use to get together all the time for picnics growing up. And I considered his house a magical house. He was always way ahead of science and you had to be careful you didn’t push a wrong button‼️He was definitely a favorite uncle‼️‼️Thinking about you all 🙏🙏

Dolly Jane Prenzel

December 30, 2020

William Griswold
West End High School Class of 1944
Rest in Peace

Bill was a beloved member of the West End High School Alumni Association.
He came to every possible alumni event with his wife, Vesta. After Vesta died, he missed a couple of meetings, but he then came back, For many years, Bill designed and printed our identification labels.

Bill also served in WWII and was a formidable scholar on that subject. It was fun to sit at his table and hear his stories.

Bill will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Barnett Williams

December 29, 2020

Bill Griswold, you are a Tower of friendship and knowledge who will always be remembered.

Helen Aldrich

December 29, 2020

Bill will be greatly missed. I will cherish the river memories and thank you for all you did in TSRA.