Paul Jerome Griffith

1957 - 2010, Santa Barbara

November 13, 1957 - April 29, 2010

Paul Jerome Griffith was born on November 13, 1957 at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital to Dr. Jerome and Barbara Griffith. He passed away at Cottage Hospital on April 29, 2010 after a courageous and inspiring battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family, and during his last hours was able to express his love, gratitude, and desire for us all to take care of each other.

Paul graduated from San Marcos High School in 1975 and from UCSB in 1980 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He worked for General Dynamics and Pacific Armatechnica before joining the Santa Barbara Electric Bus Project in 1993. He helped the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) prepare plans for expanding its uniquely successful electric shuttle buses to other routes. He designed data collection hardware for electric bus performance and published the "Four Year Report on Electric Bus Operations in Santa Barbara". He co-founded the Santa Barbara Electric Transportation Institute, which was sponsored by state and federal government agencies and power utilities to promote the understanding and expansion of electric bus use worldwide. Paul managed the design, construction and demonstration of the Stingray, a full size electric bus that climbed the steepest bus routes in San Francisco, operating for over 10 hours between recharges. He provided consultation and assistance to many municipal, state, and national governments to initiate electric bus services.

Paul was called a Renaissance Man by many who knew him - well educated, with many interests, who excelled in a wide variety of subjects. He craved and embraced knowledge, and developed his abilities as fully as possible. One of his many hobbies was his vineyard. His first label said, in part, "200 vines were planted in the summer of 2003. For the next 2 years they were farmed with equal parts benign neglect and gopher exuberance. Against all odds, the vines thrived and yielded their first crop in 2005. There are no government warnings or bar codes-it is too precious for anything but sharing with friends."

Paul shared the last two years of his triumphs and setbacks publicly on an internet blog. He had many readers who appreciated his honesty, hope, humor, and inspiration as he confronted this insidious disease. He wrote, "The universe manifests order and reason that far exceeds my capacity to understand. Like all things, I am interwoven into that beautiful tapestry for all eternity. If I am meant to overcome this challenge, then I most certainly shall. If not, then I will learn what I can from it and take that knowledge into the next adventure. Either way, I win."

In addition to his parents, he is survived by sons Brandon Paul and Taylor Sohns Griffith; daughter-in-law Deanna Griffith; fiance Cecily Daniel; sisters Jan Del Carlo, Karen Griffith, and Tracey Nutter; niece Karin Del Carlo and brother-in-law Ray Del Carlo. A memorial tribute will be held May 23, 2010.
In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund has been set up for Brandon and Taylor at Santa Barbara Bank and Trust.

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"The universe manifests order and reason that far exceeds my capacity to understand. Like all things, I am interwoven into that beautiful tapestry for all eternity. If I am meant to overcome this challenge, then I most certainly shall. If not, then I will learn what I can from it and take that knowledge into the next adventure. Either way, I win."

This bears re-reading.
Spacespeed, Paul, and thank you for stating this so well.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
May 12, 2010 at 7:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Many things Paul said and wrote bear repeating. You will be greatly missed, my friend. You already are...

JillAnnY (anonymous profile)
May 12, 2010 at 8:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I am saddened to read of the passing of Paul Griffith. I was a good friend of his in the early 1980's. We would often meet up at Joe's Cafe on a Friday or Saturday night, and socialize with the towns young set. It was so fun. He would often invite me over to his parents house on Monday night to watch Monday night Football and eat French Dip Sandwiches. His parents were so nice. I lost contact with him after I moved to San Diego, but remember him as a special guy. So smart and cool. Very friendly, never a bad word out of his mouth about anyone. I am just so sad to read this newspaper Obituary. May God bless him and his kids, and his parents,too. The world has lost a special guy, and heaven has gained one. Thanks for all the great times,Paul. Your true friend forever, Gary.

GaryM (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2010 at 5:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I roomed with Paul briefly at UCSB, and we used to lunch together regularly at Joe's after I moved back to SB around 1984. We fell out of touch in the 90's, which I have regretted for a long time. I just now found this obituary after trying to reach him for years. What a shock. He was one of the warmest, kindest and smartest people I've ever met, and he loved his kids so much. Godspeed Paul wherever you are, may your soul's journey be filled with joy. I will always remember you and our friendship.


Madridista (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2010 at 10:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I remember Paul from Jr Hi @ La Colina and on into high school where he and I and many others were part of the infamous UCSB Bleacher Bums! Paul would often play "taps" on his trumpet at the end of an inevitable Gaucho basketball victory bringing the audience to a rousing climactic roar and standing "O"!!!

As every one of the posts have stated: Paul was a wonderful person. His parents were warm and welcoming as well.

I was briefly re-united with "Gip" as he was referred to in my circle of friends, at another friend's memorial in 2005. I spent a lot of time with him at that ocassion not knowing it would be my least for awhile.

To his parents, sisters, son's and all others he touched-my condolences. Knowing Paul enriched my life.


tylerl (anonymous profile)
June 5, 2011 at 2:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As Paul's youngest son, I just want to thank you all for your kind thoughts and sharing your fond memories. Words cannot express how much I appreciate them.

taygriff (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2011 at 6:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I have just discovered this obit for Paul, and was deeply saddened by the news. We were classmates at La Colina and San Marcos, and he and his wife were my landlords for a number of years when I moved back to Santa Barbara. I remember him for his quiet and affirming warmth, and the quickness of his smile. The world is definitely a richer place for his having been a part of it.

ddawson (anonymous profile)
October 17, 2011 at 3:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I was googling my old friend Paul as I had hoped to visit him someday soon.

I am deeply saddened that I now have to reach back many years to the last time I saw Paul on State Street in Santa Barbara in order to remember him.

I met Paul when I was a freshman at UCSB (1976), I was a raw kid out of Oxnard and he was the kindest, gentlest, smartest, coolest guy I had ever met. Nevertheless, we became very good and close friends. We went skiing in Kirkwood that year, played vollyeball (a lot) and just talked, about everything. He seemed to know and care about everything! He was intelligent, eloquent, with a humulity that I rarely witnessed in a person so talented.

I met his parents a few times, and they were as wonderful as he was, just great people, all of them.

I am sorry that I have only seen this news now, and that I am late to express my condoleneces to Paul's family. You were blessed to have him as a father, as I was to have him as a friend.

Godspeed Paul,
I wipe the tears from my keyboard now....
I will miss you very much!


jessalvarado (anonymous profile)
March 5, 2013 at 10:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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