Deceased Information


    Richard Grifenhagen

  • AGE



    Friday, November 12, 2021 (Before Sunset)


    Monday, November 15, 2021


    11:00 AM


    Meeting ID: 864 7730 2019

    Passcode: 364986



    Obituary of Richard A. Grifenhagen (1932-2021)

    Richard Alan Grifenhagen, formerly of Columbus, GA, died Friday, November 12, 2021 at The Cohen Home, Johns Creek, GA. He was 89.

    Richard was born on July 29,1932 In New York, New York to Joseph and Pauline Gross Grifenhagen. The family moved to West Hartford, CT where Richard attended Hall High School. His involvement in scouting culminated in earning an Eagle Scout at age 16. He received an appointment to the United State Military Academy at West Point from then-Congressman Abraham Ribicoff, graduated in 1954, and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant.

    Before long, a young woman by the name of Vera Katz caught his eye at a dance at Columbus GA’s Temple Israel while Richard was in Jump School at Ft. Benning. The two were married in 1955. Shortly thereafter, Richard was deployed to Korea where he was part of a U.S. Peacekeeping Force. He completed his active duty service at Ft. Bragg and was a National Guardsman for six years.

    Richard and Vera returned to Columbus where they made their permanent home. Taking the reins from father-in-law Sol Katz, Richard became a successful local merchant operating popular Katz Home Fashions. He served as a past President of the Columbus Square Mall and Peachtree Mall Merchants Associations.

    Their family grew over the next several years to include daughter Joan and sons Stuart and Edward. They were active members of Shearith Israel Synagogue and Temple Israel. Richard was a Past President and Vice President at the Synagogue and a member of the Temple Board of Directors. His religious outreach also extended to servicemen stationed at Ft. Benning where he and Vera were part of a team offering food and fellowship Sunday mornings for several years. He also dedicated time to the Jewish War Veterans of America and local youth sports programs as well as acting as a Marshall at Bull Creek Golf Course. In retirement, his business acumen was put to use as a business consultant for the Columbus Chapter of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives).

    Richard was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Pauline Grifenhagen. He is survived by his wife Vera, a brother Bill (Gloria) Grifenhagen, children Joan (Art) Flaks, Stuart (Diane) Grifenhagen and Edward (Susan) Grifenhagen; eight grandchildren Noah (Renee) Flaks, Joseph (Amanda) Flaks, Rachael (Jamie Boyd) Flaks, Melissa (Rylan) Wade, Jenny (Kevin) Bach, Benjamin (Hannah) Grifenhagen, Zachary (Kelly) Grifenhagen and Will (Amelia) Grifenhagen; eight great grandchildren Nathan Flaks, Ari and Margot Flaks, Jasper Boyd, Harper Wade, Madeline Bach and Zachary and Caroline Grifenhagen; niece Susan Willner, nephew Clifford Allan Willner, nieces Laura (Peter) Zhiss and Shara (Eyal) Ellenbogen and nephew Jonah (Jill) Grifenhagen and their children Max, Ben and Sam Zhiss, Oz and Shalev Ellenbogen and Linus and Mabel Grifenhagen.

    A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 15, 2021 at Temple Israel with a graveside service to follow. 

    The funeral service can be accessed through the following link. We recommend downloading it directly to your computer.

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Richard Grifenhagen

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  • The Dressler Family

    May the memories of our loved ones remain for a blessing.

  • Gail Cohn

    Vera and family, My sincerest sympathy for the loss of Richard.I remember my Dad mentioning ,with reverence, about the fact that he was West Pointer! I have many fond memories of our times in Columbus. Thinking of you and yours

    November 16, 2021 , 10:16 PM

  • Rochelle Spandorfer

    Richard’s life was a life well-lived. May his memory be for a blessing! Thinking of you at this sad time with love and good memories.

    November 15, 2021 , 07:39 AM

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