John Hamilton Griswold former Executive Vice President of Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Companies, died at the age of 85, December 20, 2019.

Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday (December 27, 2019) at the Cheney Funeral Home 70 Main Street Phelps.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday (December 28) at St. John’s Episcopal Church 32 E. Main Street Clifton Springs with Rev. Thomas Gramley officiating. Private burial will be in Lock Berlin Cemetery.

It is requested in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation P.O. Box 5014 Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014.

Beloved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend and the former Executive Vice President of Ontario Telephone & Trumansburg Companies and President of Comalert Systems Company. Born on May 18, 1934 in Clifton Springs, N.Y. to the late Malcolm and Margaret Griswold, he graduated from Clifton Springs High School in 1952, and Colgate University in 1956.

After college, John joined his brother, father and grandfather at the family telephone business. John specialized in outside plant engineering and began his career helping to lead the family business. John met his wife Sharon Williams in 1987. They married in 1992. While John was a corporate and civic leader, he was truly a family man, and his real passion was spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren and extended family.

John spent his career leading the telephonies and guiding them so that they could be transitioned to the next generation. Ontario Telephone & Trumansburg Companies are now a five-generation family owned and operated business. John was the third generation in the telecom family business. He loved the challenges of the work, and truly enjoyed giving back to the community. John used his business leadership and expertise to support Clifton Springs and many of its key civic organizations. For example, John was also the past President of the Clifton Springs Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. John also served for over 20 years on the Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors for Ontario National Bank of Clifton Springs.

John was inducted into the New York State Telecommunications Association Hall of Fame on May 26, 2017. He served on numerous committees for the New York State Telecommunications Association throughout his 30-year career in the telephone industry.

During his spare time John enjoyed golfing an was an avid wooden model craftsman. Most important to John, was spending time at the lake with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon; his three children William (Lee) Griswold, Amy (Jorge) Valentin, Paul (Julie) Griswold; and Sharon’s children Brian (Terri) Williams, Keith (Ann) Williams, Lynn (Joe) Firendino, Cheryl (Kevin) Graham, Michele (Gary) Worek, Dhammika Perrera – AFS son; he also leaves behind 10 grandchildren Justin, Brenden, Ashley, Margaret, Jonathan, Brandon, Alex, McCall, Nicole, Eric, Ben, Rebecca, Ashley, Jessica, Reed, Ben, Sophie and Michael; great-grandchildren Addelyn, Ashton, Morgan, Liam, Emma and Hadley; he is also survived by his sister Susan Verstreate.

John was predeceased by his brother, Robert Griswold.

John will be deeply missed by all who knew him, especially his wife, children and grandchildren. He leaves a legacy of dedication to family, a commitment to hard work and an appreciation for a continuous sense of fun and adventure.


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