Arkansas Press Women

Est. 1949 – An association of professional communicators

Remembering Carol Griffee

Our friend, Carol Griffee, died this evening around 7:10 p.m. at the Little Rock inpatient unit of Arkansas Hospice. Although her body was failing, her mind stayed sharp until just the last few days. Carol completed all her own burial arrangements weeks ago. She will be buried in Fort Smith. She was adamant that no funeral be held. Her obituary should run in the next few days.

She was a bulldog on public policy right up to the end. Her final project, which she worked on with Dave Kern’s able help, was to bring the right people together to work on policies for better coordination between nursing home and hospice services. She saw first-hand how the system needed improvement and set out to do something about it.

I’m proud to have known Carol and treasure the time we spent together as she made her final journey. We will best honor her memory when we work hard and honestly and remember why the world needs communicators.

Emily Roberts

– – –

She’ll be sorely missed, but she leaves a legacy of toughness and fairness
to which we all should aspire.

— Terry Hawkins, Dumas Clarion,  APW Board Member

– – –

I am grateful that I got to know Carol through my association with Arkansas Press Women, an organization she valued and one which certainly valued her. She was a journalist like no other and Arkansas was certainly very fortunate to have her.  Rest in peace, Carol!

— Ashli Ahrens
Ashli  also shared this link to an Arkansas Blog post in which Max Brantley shares a cute anecdote about Carol:
– – –

“Carol Griffee was a bird dog and a bulldog, driven and relentless in her pursuit of the facts. She was tough but fair, which is one of the highest compliments to pay any journalist. ‘One of a kind’ is often an overused phrase, but the combination of Carol’s tenacity, staunch belief in good government and unique personal character makes her one we won’t see the likes of again anytime soon.”

— Governor Mike Beebe


2 comments on “Remembering Carol Griffee

    January 25, 2011

    I’ve been lucky to work with some fine journalists in my 38 newsroom years. But few approach the lofty professional and ethical standards to which Carol Griffee daily held herself. We began as rivals, working at the Capitol for hotly competing newspapers locked in a struggle for survival. At the Capitol, she was one of a talented, harmonious Gazette quartet. I was a boisterous one-man band whom Democrat editors had tossed into the breach. Grif knew Capitol turf intimately. I was left to scope out its labyrinth in faint hope of scooping Gazette writers who, like Santa on Dec. 24, seemed everywhere at once! When occasionally, I trod on “her” beat, she’d bristle and show herself a worthy adversary who spared no effort to get each story fast, complete and accurate! In 1979, I switched allegiances, and Grif and I spent the next 12 years as Gazette allies, friends, deskmates. Together, we suffered the slings and arrows of outraged editors. (And one ex-wife.) Though never married, Carol proved a savvy advisor, too. During my divorce, she proved more insightful than any therapist! After the great Gazette foundered in 1991, I wrote three years for the Democrat-Gazette, then relocated. Tennessee editors appreciated anew whatever modest skills I’d acquired, with Grif as a mentor. Her health steadily failed; yet we corresponded in good times and bad. Carol’s recent loss surprised no one. But her legacy survives, and I know, in years to come, its breadth and depth will surprise many. I know I’m a more conscientious writer for having known Carol. Her exemplary standards will inspire many a journalist who knew her! If a Heaven exists, it’s supposed to be a perfect place, free of the ills she knew. But for Grif’s sake, I hope enough environmental woes remain that her gift for investigation may be used, honed and kept keen as ever! Bye, Grif! –30–

    • arkpresswomen
      January 25, 2011

      Thank you for sharing your memories … and surely God has His hands full now!

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This entry was posted on January 25, 2011 by in Free speech and tagged , , , .


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