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Erma Nash Griffin Phinney ‘40

Erma Nash Griffin Phinney, 98, passed away Wednesday, August 2, 2017 in Rogersville, TN.

Erma was born September 14, 1918 in Washington, D.C. She was a 1935 graduate of Devilbiss High School in Toledo, Ohio, and a 1940 graduate of Antioch College with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She attended graduate school at Toledo University and Harvard University, and taught at Painesville (OH) High School until entering the U.S. Navy. She served in the Navy as a WAVES lieutenant during World War II and the Korean Conflict between 1943 and 1953.

Erma married Capt. Earle W. Griffin, U.S. Marine Corps pilot, in Larchmont, New York in 1953, and made her home in Ames, IA.

After Earle’s death in 1984, she met Davis G. Phinney ‘40 of Glastonbury, CT, and they were married at the Little Brown Church, Nashua, IA in 1987. After Davis’s death in 2007, she moved from Connecticut to Tennessee.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Earle W. Griffin and Davis G. Phinney; her parents, former Antioch College Dean Philip Nash and Frances Nightingale Nash; a brother, Curtis E. Nash ‘39; a sister, Jeanne Toll; and a daughter-in-law, Nancy Griffin.

She is survived by her son, Curtis R. Griffin; grandchildren, Kelsey Griffin, Bryan Griffin and wife, Cris, and Benjamin Griffin; great-grandchildren, Laniyah Campbell, Amelia Griffin, and Elijah Griffin all of Rogersville; a niece, Elizabeth Tousain and husband, Ron of Traverse City, MI; and a nephew, Philip Nash and wife, Ellen of Rochester Hills, MI.

A memorial service will be held at First Christian Church of Rogersville on Thursday, September 14, 2017. Burial will be the Ames Municipal Cemetery, Ames, IA.

The family would like to extend special thanks to all the wonderful staff at Signature Lifestyles of Rogersville, for the loving care they provided Erma.

Memorial contributions may be made to Ames Woman's Club, 106 S. Dakota Ave, Ames, IA 50014. Online condolences may be made at