Son: Sen. Griffin 'strove to do the right thing'

Associated Press

Traverse City — U.S. Sen. Robert Griffin always "strove to do the right thing," whether in public or private life and whether anyone knew about it, one of his sons said at the Michigan Republican's funeral Tuesday.

About 100 people gathered at First Congregational Church to remember Griffin, who died Thursday at age 91, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

Griffin spent 10 years in the U.S. House and a dozen years in the U.S. Senate before being defeated by Democrat Carl Levin in 1978. Griffin initially backed fellow Republican Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal before joining other influential senators in calling for the president's resignation in August 1974.

Griffin later spent eight years on the Michigan Supreme Court.

"Throughout his life, he strove to do the right thing," said his son, Judge Richard Griffin, a member of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. "In his private life, in his public life, whether nobody was watching or whether the nation was watching, that was my dad."

Jim Griffin, another son, told the mourners that his father "was always willing to listen to all sides of the story and then consider each on its own merits without prejudice.

"I think it's this tolerance and his ability to be open-minded that made him such a powerful and well-respected force in Congress," Jim Griffin said.