Frances Lamb Griffiths, 91; Pioneered Computers; Raised Tiny Donkeys

IN MEMORIAM: Frances Lamb Griffiths, 91;

Pioneered Computers; Raised Tiny Donkeys

Frances Griffiths

MILFORD – Frances Elizabeth Whitman Lamb Griffiths, 91, Town of Maryland, who first used computers locally to track herd and farm expenses at Hemlock Valley Farm here, and was also known for raising miniature donkeys, passed away on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at the Fox Nursing Home, Oneonta, surrounded by family.

Frances was born on January 28, 1928, in East Brooklyn, in northeast Connecticut, the daughter of William Arthur Whitman and Ada Mae (Preston) Whitman. She graduated from Killingly High School, Danielson, Conn., in 1946, and later took courses at the University of Rhode Island, Providence.

She married Bruce R. Lamb on Oct. 16, 1948. He predeceased her in September of 1965. She then married John E. Griffiths Jr. on July 8, 1966. He predeceased her on May 13, 1994.

Frances was always a farm girl, from raising goats in East Brooklyn, Conn., to working with her second husband, John, on Oakdell Farm, in Sterling,  Conn. They later relocated to Milford, where for 18 years they owned and operated the Hemlock Valley farm, expanding the herd and barns, installing ground silos and a central milking parlor. She was the pioneer at Hemlock Valley in computer use. Later, she achieved some notoriety for her herd of miniature donkeys.

She was active in churches throughout her life. During the late 1950s-early 1960s, she served as one of the first women Sunday School superintendents in a Baptist church in Danielson, Conn., and headed several summers of inter-church Vacation Bible School. She was very active in Golden Heirs in the 1990s in Oneonta. Her last church home was Milford Center Community Bible Church.

She traveled all over the U.S. and Canada with second husband John, and later she took a trip to Israel and Greece with a group from Oneonta. In 2002, she and close friends Lydia and Dottie joined her son Randy’s group on a two-week trip to England, where she saw the Queen (and exchanged waves).

The family would like to extend special thanks to the dedicated staffs of Fox Nursing Home where she spent her last few months, and Woodside Hall where she attended weekly program activities for the previous 5 years. Also, we are thankful for caregivers Suzie, Sharon, Susan, Lori, Kerri who helped her during Randy’s overseas trips, and most especially to Joanie who was her long term caregiver and boon companion over the past ten years.

Frances is survived by three sons, Randall P. Lamb (Joan), Town of Maryland, David W. Lamb (Linda) of Chittenango, and Mark A. Lamb (Deborah) of Oneonta; 3 stepsons, Donald B. Griffiths (Jackie) of Tennessee, Barry L. Griffiths (Chris) of Springfield Center, and Robbin T. Grffiths, of Ormond Beach, Fla.; 12 grandchildren, Raymond H. Lamb (Kate) of Lancaster, Pa., Susan E. Lamb of New York City, Sara Sherlock (Patrick) of North Syracuse, Laura Byham (Matt) of Rochester, Jessica Lamb of Boonville,  Lisa Vance (Robert) of Oneonta, Paul Griffiths of Tennessee, Jason Griffiths of Danielson, Conn., Jodi Mravjla of Cherry Valley,  Judi Lusk (Drew) of Cherry Valley,  Jermey Griffiths (Michelle) of Richfield Springs,  and John C. Griffiths (Tara) of South Carolina; 17 great-grandchildren, Derek Griffiths, Christopher Mravjla, Sandra Mrajlva, Jolene Lusk, Andrew Lusk, Bailey Lusk, Hayden Griffiths, Bo Griffiths, Eli Griffiths-Easley, Jack Sherlock, Ian Sherlock, Maggie Grace Sherlock, Carter Byham, Jacob Byham, Claudia Halstead, Kyle Cuba, Kari Cuba; and one GREAT GREAT granddaughter Phoenix Mravlja.

She is also survived by special niece Dorothy Blocker of Hampton, Conn., and life-long BFF Louise Salmon of Danielson, Conn.

She was predeceased by her husbands, Bruce R. Lamb and John E. Griffiths Jr., and her five siblings, Olive, George, Mildred, Philip and Robert.

Friends are invited to greet the family beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13, at the Bookhout Funeral Home, 357 Main St.,  Oneonta, where a Service of Celebration will take place immediately following at noon, officiated by Rev. Stephen D. Fournier, with Rev. Randall Lamb.

Burial will take place at the convenience of the family in Griffiths Homestead Cemetery, Sterling, Conn.

In lieu of flowers, if anyone wishes, contributions may be made in memory of Frances Griffiths to Milford Center Community Bible Church, 2582 Route 28, Oneonta, NY 13820.

Online condolences may be made by visiting

Arrangements are by the Bookhout Funeral Home, Oneonta.

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