Lubbock mourning death of B.R. "Rip" Griffin

Lubbock mourning death of B.R. "Rip" Griffin
Bobbie Ray "Rip" Griffin was 87 (source: Griffin family)
Bobbie Ray "Rip" Griffin was 87 (source: Griffin family)
Rip Griffin sign (Source: KCBD Video)
Rip Griffin sign (Source: KCBD Video)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock is mourning the death of well-known West Texas businessman B.R. "Rip" Griffin.

Griffin's legacy can be seen all over the South Plains. His name is on travel centers, the indoor arena at Lubbock Christian University, and the baseball stadium where the Texas Tech Red Raiders play.

According to Bloomberg, Griffin founded the Rip Griffin Truck Service Inc. in 1964 and Pro Petroleum in 1989.

He managed these truck stops until he sold them in 2004.

Griffin was 87.

We spoke with one of Rip Griffin's sons, Mark Griffin, who shared memories and some history with us on Monday.

While the Rip Griffin truck stop at 46th and Avenue A was the beginning of a larger project, you might be surprised to learn where Mr. Griffin got his start.

On 19th Street and Avenue F, just off of Interstate 27, sits the Cast Iron Grill.

It used to be a filling station, and at the time, it caught the eye of budding businessman, Rip Griffin, who decided to lease it.

"I think once he started with this, this filling station, he kind of had, a dream or a vision beyond that. I think one of his secrets to success, somewhere early on, I don't know where he learned it, but he started looking for where the railroads had natural stopping points where they would have break points for their crews," Mark Griffin said.

That ingenuity helped him build a multi-faceted trucking company, starting with the truck stop on Avenue A and growing to 15 truck stops across the Western United States.

A successful business venture, made even more special by getting to work with Mark.

"I learned a lot of things that I probably would not have learned had I not had the opportunity to work with my dad," Griffin said.

But Rip Griffin's legacy extends far past the trucking company.

He and his wife, Geneva, invested themselves in many things in this community.

They had a heart for education and giving young people an opportunity.

Rip attended Texas Tech, and played baseball there, where he developed a passion for the sport and even sponsored a semi-pro team called the Lubbock Hubbers.

He served for many years on the Board of Trustees at Lubbock Christian University.

Both universities have a sporting venue named in his honor, Rip Griffin Park at Texas Tech, and the Rip Griffin Center at LCU.

"He and my mom were a real team on a lot of these things. She was just as supportive and involved as he was in a lot of different ways. And I think that made it very very special," Griffin said.

But as Griffin says, his father didn't spread generosity to get his name out there.

Mark says Rip believed that if he had received, it was important for him to give back.

"This is where he got his start. And he was, he loved Lubbock, he loved the people in Lubbock. He loved the institutions that were important in Lubbock. And he felt compelled to try to help and assist in any way," Griffin said.

And the wonderful qualities instilled in Rip's heart, have now been passed on to the many family members he leaves behind.

The name Rip Griffin, will live on forever.

"I always admired that about him. His work ethic, his generosity and his compassion. I think those are, as a son, those are the traits and the attributes that he left with me," Griffin said.

A memorial to celebrate Rip Griffin's life was held on Tuesday, June 27 at 1 p.m. at Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock at 1924 Broadway Ave.

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