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John Hart Griggs

John Hart Griggs, passed away on March 18, 2020, from injuries suffered in an accident at home in Tampa, FL. John was born on April 7, 1950, in Ocala, FL to James and Veronica Jo Griggs. He is survived by his sons, Benjamin and Zachary and their wives, Marlee (Ben) and Paige (Zack). He is also survived by his brother, Jeff E. Griggs, of Tallahassee, FL. He adored his three grand-daughters, Adeline, Kaylee, and Emersyn.

John was an avid photographer and loved baseball. He kept his family updated about everything that was happening with the Tampa Bay Rays. One of his great joys was watching his sons play sports throughout their childhood and high school years. As a self-employed insurance broker, John was well-respected and well-thought of for his desire to serve his clients and associates, and made many friends throughout the Bay area. He was active in his church, Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, and loved the members of his Sunday school class, who have been a great support to his family in this difficult time.

John was a selfless and sacrificial man. Anyone who knew him, and even those who had only just met him, found out quickly that he would try to meet any need he could. He was a loving father and grandfather. John was always talking about his sons and was so proud of the men, husbands, and fathers they had become and what they had accomplished. His pride in his boys was eclipsed only by his excitement about his grand-daughters, about whom he was over the moon.

Most importantly, John was a believer in Jesus Christ. His family finds great hope in the reality that John knew Jesus as His Savior and that John will spend his eternity in the presence of God Almighty. Amen!


Due to the very unique circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the memorial service will be attended only by immediate family. However, Idlewild Baptist Church will live stream the service on behalf of the family, so that his friends and family not in attendance can virtually attend the service and be present in spirit.

Service Date & Time:  Monday, March 23rd at 11 AM.

Web Link for the live stream:

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  • Michelle Cloutier says:

    I feel privileged to have known John these past few years in our Uncharted Courses Bible Fellowship at Idlewild. He was one of the kindest, most selfless people I have ever met. He would do anything if he saw someone in need. He always had a smile on his face, and faced any difficulties with his strong faith in our Lord Jesus. I will miss him terribly, especially at Wednesday night dinners (when they resume) at church. I look forward to being reunited with him in heaven. My sincere condolences go out to his family, to his sons and their wives, and particularly to his granddaughters who won’t have this caring, doting man in their lives as they grow up. I hope their parents will continue to share their memories of John with them to keep his memory alive.

  • Jeanette Milam says:

    I want to express my sympathy to John’s sons and extended family. I have just recently been privileged to know John personally. He is such a nice and a thoughtful man.I’m sure you all will miss him very much. His sweet smile, his concern for others, and his love for God. God bless and be with you all. With love, Jeanette

  • Victoria Bray says:

    John was a gentle soul. Never a negative remark came from John. He was always asking me about my life. He loved his life, his business, his family and his Bible Study Group, but most of all, he loved his Lord, Jesus Christ. I am a better person because of John. I will miss John, not ready to see him go from this earth. Heaven will be better with John Griggs there. But there will be an empty spot now in Unchartered Courses. To John’s family, I have never met a better man than John.

  • Sharon Saringo says:

    John was the very first few who made me feel welcomed in Uncharted Courses Bible Fellowship at Idlewild when I first started going. He would always say hi and we eventually became friends. I will miss his sweet spirit… and I will miss seeing him in line on Wednesday nights getting his dinner. I remember him sharing how excited he was about his new grandchild. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. May you find peace and comfort in Christ during this time.

  • Dave Hawes says:

    Ben and Zack and families,

    I read Psalms 13 and 16 today after I read your Dad’s obituary and viewed the Memorial Service at Idlewild. May the Lord bring comfort and hope to you all.

    Dave and Page

  • Will Daines says:

    As was said earlier, John was a servant. He served his family, his friends and insurance clients. I was an excellent listener and cared deeply for those in his life. All of our conversations were transparent and encouraging regarding our walk with the Lord and desires for our lives and families. His complete support and encouragement for his sons was very clear. Their growth into married fathers was confirmation of the legacy he will leave behind.

  • Perry Van De Wall says:

    I am already so missing John. I the few months he was a part of the Uncharted Courses Bible Fellowship class, I had become so fond of him, and enjoyed being in his company. John always had a smile on his face, and when he entered the class each Sunday, his warm and welcoming personality immediately raised climate of the room. I greatly enjoyed every conversation I had with this dear brother. His concern for others, the way he always had a positive word for every person who entered his space was amazing. What made it so powerful was that you knew he was sincere. John made it a point to connect with our vistors, and took the time to ensure that every person he touched felt the love he had for them as their friend and brother in Christ.

    As the teacher of the class, you are always reading the room during a lesson. You want to be sure that you are connecting with those in attendance. Without even realizing it, John became my barometer. If I looked at John after making a point and he was nodding and had that smile I could only describe as “boyish”, I knew that I was connecting and on track. On the other hand, if he maintained his serious face (it was not judging, cynical or stern), I knew that I’d better provide a bit more clarity around a point or rephrase my question to the group. Without knowing it, he was helping me become a better teacher. After EVERY lesson, John would always seek me out and comment on the parts of the lesson that impacted him.

    I was so looking forward to getting to know him better. Hoping to break bread with him beyond our monthly class luncheons to get to know him on a personal level. I knew I wanted him as more that a member of our Bible Fellowship class. I wanted him as my friend. Although God called him home before we had that opportunity, I rejoice because I know at this moment, he is rejoicing in the presence of our Great Lord and Savior, Jesus.

    So, I will not say goodbye today. Today I will say: “I”ll see you later my my brother, my friend.”

    In Him,

  • Lynne Kaiser says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I did not have the privilege of getting to know John personally. You know how busy life can be. But as a fellow member of the Unchartered Courses class, I was warmed by his bright smile and joy filled personality. Praying for your family.

  • Natali Marchesini says:

    My deepest condolences for John’s family.
    I can’t constrained my tears and still can’t believe that he’s gone.
    He’s such wonderful and caring person.
    He offered without hesitation
    on helping many times if I needed.
    My prayers for his family. God bless you.

  • Becky Myers says:

    Dear John’s family and friends,
    I am sending my deepest condolences for all of your family.
    I wish we could be physically there to share my condolences. I just finished watching John’s Memorial service and can see how great a man John was and why he was so proud of all of you.

    The John I knew was everything you have written and said. He truly was a Southern gentleman,who insisted on opening doors for any lady. What a dying art and it got more with the passing to Heaven of John.
    He would be the first to volunteer to be of service to anyone. He always had a smile and gave you eye contact reassuring that he was giving you his attention.
    He asked how I was doing and meant it.
    I will miss his smile, Wednesday dinners at church and long talks in the parking lot after Idlewild’s Wednesday evenings church services. I will miss
    John when as a group we sit in church,go out for Sunday lunch and our daily texting accountability group. John will be very much missed.
    I can’t imagine how hard it is for his family. And I too am comforted that he is in Heaven and God takes each of us we will have a wonderful reunion in Heaven.

    Please feel free to call or text us for anything that we can be of help.
    I and the group will be praying for you all and may you feel God’s loving arms.

    Thank you for sharing your dad with us.

    In Christ love,
    Becky Myers

  • Diann Stowers says:

    First of all, what a sweet, sweet service for your Dad! I want to express my sincerest condolences to you boys and your families, Sara, and Jeff. I grew up with John. The Griggs lived across the street from us along with the Crawfords, Sykes and the Wheelers. We have many wonderful memories of the Griggs! I loved that family! John and I went to school together from kindergarten all the way through high school. I remember going with Jo to take John to UCF. He was in the first class after it was built. John was always such a wonderful young man! He was like the brother I never had! I would always keep up with John and his boys from visiting Jo, who was the sweetest woman! I adopted her as my Mom after my Mom passed. I know you will miss him dearly, but so reassuring we will see him again in Heaven! God bless you all! Praying for comfort and peace for each of you! Love, Diann Harding Stowers

  • Bennie Hilton says:

    My deepest condolences to the Rigg’s family with John’s passing. While I didn’t know him well, he always had a smile for everyone in our class. I was touched by all the testimonials I’ve read and wish I’d gotten to know him better. My heart goes out to you all, your families, and friends.
    Your sister in Christ, Bennie

  • Ellen Moore says:

    My sympathy and prayers to John’s family and friends. I have only gotten to know him on a personal level in the last several months in our Idlewild bible fellowship group. He was always so kind to everyone he came in contact with and truly interested in how you were doing. He was so proud of his family and always ready to show pictures of his grandchildren. He displayed the light that as Christians we all should want to be. I feel privileged that I could call him my friend.

    May His light continue to shine in all of us,



    May God Bless and comfort you during this difficult time. I knew John from our Uncharted Courses Bible Fellowship class. He always had a bright smile for everyone and I could see Christ in that smile. Listening to his memorial I could see a life well lived and loved by his family. A soul that will be forever missed, but still living in your hearts.
    Blessings, Rosemary
    Romans 14:8

  • Stephen Coney says:

    Was blessed to know John for + 25 years from youth baseball with our sons, to doing some joint employee benefit consulting together and especially being brothers in Christ at Idlewild. A true gentleman that will be missed.

  • Suter Barbara Wolcott says:

    I was shocked to Johns funeral announcement post on Idlewild’s page when I went there for our daily devotional. I just saw and hugged John on the last Wednesday night that our church body gathered in person before CoV He was vibrant and full of life
    I worked with John at Liberty Mutual Insurance company over 30 years ago. We would run into each other several times over the years at Christ Community Church and then at Idelwild. We had just recently renewed our friendship at our Wednesday night dinners. My deepest sympathy to his family at their loss. But he is not lost. He is at home with his Heavenly Family and we will all meet again before the throne of God that we all love so much

  • Sue Labadie says:

    I am so sorry to the entire family for the loss of such a wonderful Christian man. The service was a beautiful tribute to the legacy and love he left for you all. I have known Sara over 30 years and was so pleased to hear about her family. It was so special to watch the memorial and see Ben and Zach speak with such devotion to John and the whole family. My heart is broken for you but at peace knowing you’ll be together forever one day in Heaven. Love, virtual hugs and prayers to you all. Please send Sara my love,
    Sue Labadie

  • Mike Cornelius says:

    John was a family friend. What a nice man! A good guy… Usually saw him at family functions and he was always kind, thoughtful and caring. A sweet man! So sad, but in a better place….

  • JIm Rudolph says:

    I never had the pleasure of meeting John. But having met his sons, Ben & Zach, I wish I had. Getting to know his sons tells me what kind of a man he was. May God bless your family during this time.

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