AMORY – Longtime Amory Mayor Thomas Griffith passed away Jan. 6 at the age of 80 at Monroe Regional Hospital after being treated for COVID-19. He served in that office for 28 years, concluding his seventh term of office in 2005.
Griffith is remembered by three-term alderman Lee Miller as an excellent mayor who knew what it took to run a community. Miller and Griffith were both elected to their first terms in 1977.
“We were good friends who worked together for 28 years. He was easy to work with and could always remember your name,” said Miller, adding Griffith knew everybody in town. “He welcomed any and all into his office to discuss their concerns. The peoples’ voice elected him to seven terms. He told me that he would be there until he offends 51 percent of the people.”
Griffith worked for the chamber of commerce prior to entering public service and is remembered as being a tireless promoter of Amory. His time as mayor included serving as president of the Mississippi Municipal League from 1987 to 1988.
In one of his first acts as mayor, Griffith served as master of ceremonies for the burial of a time capsule in Frisco Park. Griffith collaborated with outgoing mayor Billy Glasgow in solemnizing the occasion for the capsule, which is set to be opened on July 4, 2076.
One of the biggest milestones to happen during Griffith’s tenure was the completion of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. He worked toward making continuing preparations for Amory’s port on the new waterway almost as soon as he took office.
Miller also remembered an urban renewal project under Griffith’s administration that upgraded several homes in West Amory through community block grants.
Operations at City Hall became computerized during Griffith’s tenure as mayor. He is remembered as being instrumental in transitioning from paper and pencil procedures to the city’s own in-house computer system after using an outside vendor service for a while.