1946 - 2017
Alicia Mareen Worthley-Griffiths, 71, a resident of Clawson, Michigan for more than 30 years, passed away on September 12 at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital.
Her quiet passing is in stark contrast to the life she lived. Bold, intelligent, energetic, and determined, Alicia was Michigan’s first female building inspector. Working in a male-dominated industry before women’s liberation had even found a foothold in the United States, was a job only a strong, force of nature like Alicia could handle. She was, as her son Rodger Griffiths indicates, “a proud, Leo woman with a Leo personality to match.” Truly, she is remembered as adventurous, genuine, and generous, traits that exemplify her life.
She was a dauntless foodie, who made a hobby out of visiting new restaurants and tasting unique dishes with her loving husband of 32 years, Rodney W. Griffiths. Rodney, who met Alicia on a blind date, says that when he first saw her, he was taken by her “beautiful dark hair, her pretty eyes, and great smile.” He adds that Alicia’s “fascinating personality” and her willingness to dine on BBQ at a dive in downtown Utica sealed the deal for him: he was hooked. Several years later, they married at Church of Christ in Troy, Mich. When not eating out, the couple enjoyed annual visits to Florida, where the sounds of the Atlantic Ocean lapping the sandy shores of Daytona Beach were among Alicia’s greatest joys. The two also reveled in flea markets and the local arts and crafts scene, as well as weekly Pinochle games with her brother-in-law and his wife.
Her passion was also ignited by a love for beautiful things, which culminated in frequent trips to her favorite spot: Neiman Marcus. Just as her personality, she loved to sparkle, from her trademark rhinestone-rimmed glasses to her innumerable pairs of glittering clip-on earrings, which she enjoyed wearing as much as possible. Only her warmhearted demeanor could outshine her impeccably good taste.
Not much stood in Alicia’s way, particularly when work was concerned. Her accomplishments as a building inspector allowed her to progress through the ranks until she became the department head for the Right of Way Division for the City of Troy. But being Alicia means she didn’t stop there. Instead, she took her characteristic achievements and dynamic charisma to the next level and excelled in the International Right of Way Association, where she served as the Michigan Chapter President. She taught classes and seminars, organized local and nationwide events, and travelled all over the U.S. Her efforts were rewarded. Before her retirement in 2001, she was awarded the incredibly prestigious Frank C. Balfour Professional of the Year Award, the association’s highest honor.
But even her groundbreaking work could not match her biggest success: her family. Grandma G., as she was called, delighted in her three grandchildren, Reiss, Liam, and Carter, and counted her hours with them as her happiest. She absolutely adored them. Her immense and all encompassing love was far-reaching, particularly for her extended family, whom she considered her very own. After her sister, Jackie Palmer, passed away, Alicia became a second mother to Jackie’s five children, with whom she had a wonderfully close relationship her entire life. She also took great satisfaction in caring for another sister, Sandra Finney, and Sandra’s husband, as well the couple’s daughter, who, after Sandra’s death, came to live at the Griffith family home in Clawson, where she still resides. Alicia’s days were often spent caring for family members and she considered it among her most important and most joyful commitments. Her door, as well as her heart, was always open.