GRIFFIN, Jean Somers
Jean Somers Griffin ("Jean") of Atlanta GA died a peaceful death with her daughter Adele present on Sunday evening, July 24, 2022 at the age of 87. Born on October 2, 1935 in Greenville S.C., as a single child Jean was the beloved daughter of Ewell Horton Somers and Marguerite Wilder Somers. Soon after her birth Jean moved to Atlanta with her parents where she has lived for the duration of her life. In her younger years she enjoyed living in Midtown and playing in Piedmont Park and for a year attended Grady High School. She then moved to the Garden Hills area in Buckhead where she graduated from North Fulton High School. After attending Brenau College and the University of Georgia on music scholarships, she was married to Preston Don Graham Sr. and gave birth to their three children. She eventually resumed her education and earned the BMusic and MMusic degrees from Georgia State university in Piano Performance and Music-History respectively and was on her way toward becoming a distinguished Pianist, Musicologist and Educator.
As Jean never spoke of her achievements to family or friends, it is worth noting that she held music positions with Reinhardt College, Mercer College and the Lovett School in addition to maintaining a private studio for 25 years. She was very active in the Atlanta Music community and served as a judge at various competitions and festivals including the National Guild of Piano Teachers. As a writer, she was the music critic for the Buckhead-Midtown Atlanta Newspaper. Jean was the founder of Young Performers of Atlanta and served as the Vice-President of the Atlanta Music Club along with several other distinguished board positions including the Atlanta School of Music and the Atlanta Alumni Chapter of the Mu Phi Epsilon professional fraternity. Deeply invested in Atlanta music history, Jean co-authored 75 Years of Music- A History of the Atlanta Music Club, 1915-1990 and authored A History of the Atlanta Community Orchestra, 1958-1978. All this notwithstanding, her children remember her as an intelligent, ambitious, classy, well-mannered and artistic woman, but mostly an incredibly sweet, positive and always grateful "mom" who would never tire of hearing their personal stories or engaging them in their life issues.
Jean was preceded in death by her two former husbands, Don Graham and Ned Woodruff; and her recent husband of 24 years who she played music with, William ("Billy") Griffin who passed away six months previously. Jean is survived by her son, Preston Don Graham Jr. (Married to Lisa} of New Haven, CT; grandchildren, Stephen, Nathan and Anna; son, Brent Somers Graham of Flowery Branch, GA; grandchildren, Somers and Jake; and daughter, Adele Graham Mahan (Married to Tyler) of Charlotte; grandchildren, Jay and Grant; and great-grandchildren, Brittany, Timothy and Kelly Graham. The family is grateful for Jean's loving caregivers, Jennifer, Ivonne, Andrea, Emily, Ashley and Sandrea.
A graveside service will be held at 10:30 AM, August 6, 2022, at Crest Lawn Memorial Park, 2000 Marietta Boulevard Northwest Atlanta, Georgia, 30318. 404-355-3380. The burial site is located at "F Joe Johnson Hill" within the cemetery (Maps are available at the cemetery office near entrance.) Officiating the service is Jean's son, Rev. Dr. Preston Graham Jr. A "Celebration of Life" reception with substantive hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine will follow at the Cherokee Town Club where stories can be shared, pictures seen and videos going back to her birth will be reeling. If desired, contributions in Jean's memory may be given to the Atlanta Music Club Music Scholarship Program. You may go directly to the Online Donation Portal HERE and write in "Dedication Box" "In Memory of Jean Somers Griffin."