Lewis Wyman Griffin, Jr., 75 of Phoenix, AZ died at home on March 9, 2023. Lew was born December 29, 1947 in Birmingham, AL. He was the son of Lewis W. Griffin, Sr. and Mildred (Latimer) Griffin. Lew was raised in Leeds, AL and was a devoted “BAMA” fan. Lew was a graduate of Ambassador College, Big Sandy, TX and the University of California, Irvine, CA. He eventually settled in as the database administrator for Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA. This is where he met and married Cathy McBirnie. When Cathy’s mom became ill, Lew and Cathy moved to Arizona to care for her, but Lew was able to continue to work remotely.
After he retired, Lew was able to work on family history full time. He first took an interest in family history in 1961, at age 13, when he saw a letter from his great grandmother’s brother, Joe Culpepper (1840-1920), who wrote, “they say there were two Lord Culpeppers, and we are descended from one of them.” Lew noted, “after all these years I still have not been able to prove Uncle Joe’s statement, but it has been fun trying.” Over the years, Lew located over 53,000 Culpepper descendants, including descendants of Culpepper daughters, and over 15,000 descendants of his other lines. Warren Culpepper offered to provide a server, a website and other technical resources if Lew would make his Culpepper data available on the internet. April 19, 1998, Warren and Lew launched the Culpepper Connections! Website. Lew would later create websites for his other lines.
After Lew put his data on the web, he stopped sending paper reports to correspondents. But one Dean cousin really wanted a paper report on his ancestry. He sent Lew a picture of himself in a University of Alabama baseball hat and this inspired Lew to propose a trade, a “BAMA” hat for a paper report. That hat was one of Lew’s prized possessions.
Lew is survived by his wife, Cathy, in Arizona; sister, Bonnie Turnage, in Missouri; brother, John, in Alabama; many nieces and nephews and a genealogy community that will miss him. No services planned.