September 5, 1921 – February 12, 2020
Dorothy Rose Griffo passed away peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of Wednesday, February 12. She was born Dorothy Rose Rotella on September 5, 1921 to Joseph and Angelina Rotella in Erie, Pennsylvania. When she was a child, the family moved to Denver, Colorado, and eventually settled in the Los Angeles, California suburb of Highland Park.
Dorothy graduated from Franklin High School. She went on to work in Accounting at the Los Angeles Broadway Department Store for several years.
She married Paul Joseph Griffo, Sr., from the Los Angeles suburb of Lincoln Heights, at St. Ignatius Catholic Church on June 7, 1947. They enjoyed camping, car travel and spending time with friends and family. They moved to San Gabriel in 1955 and lived in the “Village” on Bilton Way for sixty-five years. Dorothy and Paul celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2007. Her husband Paul passed away on February 6, 2008.
A long-time parishioner, Dorothy worked with the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose as the secretary at San Gabriel Mission Elementary School for thirty-nine years, supporting the Sisters and thousands of children and families over the years. She retired at the age of eighty-one in 2002.
Dorothy was not one to slow down in retirement. She volunteered with the San Gabriel Police Department, the San Gabriel Community Hospital and the annual Mission Fiesta until she was ninety-three.
Dorothy was also honored in 2009 as the San Gabriel Senior Citizen of the Year and Grand Marshall of the 4th of July Parade.
Dorothy loved time spent with her family and friends, celebrating Italian traditions, shopping at Claro’s Italian Market, meals at Scarantino’s Italian Restaurant in Glendale, reading, cheering on the L.A. Dodgers, and TV detective shows.
Dorothy is survived by her three children and their spouses: Kathleen (Craig), Joanne (Bill) and Paul (Heather). She was blessed with seven grandchildren: Matthew, Timothy, Jeffrey, Daniel, Laura, Teresa and Brooke, as well as, six great grandchildren: Penelope, Juniper, Hudson, Raegan, Adalynn and Milo (born the day she passed). She is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law Rosemarie and Tony Guzzetta and loving nieces and nephews.
Dorothy’s faith, wit, smile, generosity and her love of family will live on through her children and grandchildren.
The family is grateful to Dr. Levon Gazarian and staff, Select Home Care and Baldwin Gardens staffs for the care given to Dorothy through the good times and difficult times.
Services will be held on Saturday, February 29 at 1:00 in the Chapel of the Annunciation-San Gabriel Mission. Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Dorothy’s name to the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, 43326 Mission Circle, Fremont, CA 94539.
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
San Gabriel Mission
428 S. Mission Drive
2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
4201 Whittier Blvd
February 19, 2020
Every year for 40 years+, I have been making a family favorite (my family), Mrs. Griffo's "Green Monster." I was in college staying with Joanne at their home when I first had that dessert. Well, the dessert is made with lime Jell-O and apparently seemed to last forever. Hence the name.
Of course, each and every time I make Green Monster, I think of that day and more importantly, Mrs. Griffo's (and Mr. Griffo's) generous hospitality. I always felt like family around them. Thanks for the memories.
Sending love and hugs to Mrs. G's family,
February 19, 2020
Mrs. Griffo was our school secretary/nurse/chief problem solver/financial director/and mimeographed hundreds of thousands of tests for every teacher. I have often said while our schools have administration staff, Mrs. Griffo did it all. She was cheerful and kind to everyone. May the light of heaven shine upon her.
February 18, 2020
Dearest Mrs. Griffo...You will remain in our hearts and memories forever. Thank you for your many kindnesses over the years.