Local News

May 27, 2014

Griggs remembered for community mindedness

Like many early carpet industry entrepreneurs, Carl Griggs started his fledgling business in his garage in Dalton.

Griggs founded Southern Binders Inc. in 1956. The business provided carpet sample books, displays and binders that carpet salesmen showed prospective customers. Two years later, he started Acme Display Co. and operated other carpet-related businesses through the years.

“We started in 1956,” said Charlotte Griggs, his wife of 57 years. “He built tables in our garage. That’s how it started. Have you seen that advertisement on TV where things got started in the garage? Well, Southern Binders did, too. He was a hard-working man.”

Family and friends remembered Carl Griggs, who passed away Sunday, for his contributions to the community.

Griggs graduated from Dalton High School and joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He was a member of First Baptist Church for almost 60 years

His civic endeavors were many and ran the gamut of community activities. His business successes allowed him to give back, his son, Carl “Bubba” Griggs Jr., said.

“He was a very giving man,” he said. “He didn’t like to get the publicity for it, but he was sort of like an autonomous philanthropist. He didn’t like to take credit for anything, but he realized how blessed he was and he wanted to give back to the community in a lot of different ways.”

Griggs was chair of the Industrial Development Committee of the Dalton Chamber of Commerce; served with the Whitfield County Needy Citizens Fund and the Dalton State College Foundation; and as the first chair of Hamilton Medical Holding Co. He has served as co-chair of the Creative Arts Guild Building Committee, the Salvation Army Building Fund, co-founder of the Community “Share” Program, and as a director of the Dalton Federal Savings and Loan Association and Whitfield Industrial Park.

He served 28 years as a board member of Hamilton Medical Center and as secretary-treasurer for the hospital. He is a founding member of the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation, served as a director of the Northwest Georgia Community Foundation and was a board member of the Carpet and Rug Institute. He received the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation Humanitarian Award in 2004.

In November 1996, the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation was the recipient of the first contribution from the Griggs family, resulting in the dedication of Hamilton’s 20-bed pediatric unit in their honor. Their portraits were added to the foundation’s Hall of Honor, which serves as a tribute to those individuals who, through their support of Hamilton Medical Center, contribute to the regional advancement of health care services. The Griggs Pediatric Pavilion cares for children from the tiny newborn to the age of 18.

Additionally, the renovation project, which included nearly 2,500 square feet, allowed the relocation of the nursing station to the front of the unit, providing additional security to the unit, and the redesigning of a children’s playroom to provide a playful and reassuring environment for patients and families.

“We greatly appreciate the many years of service that Carl Griggs has given to Hamilton and to this community,” said Jeff Myers, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Care System. “His commitment to the various Hamilton boards he served on showed his dedication to serving others.”

A service to celebrate the life of Carl Griggs is today at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Dalton. The family will receive friends in the atrium of the church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Burial will follow at Whitfield Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are by Love Funeral Home.

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