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Obituary: Griffith, Lori Jean

Age 52

Lori Jean
01/22/1960 - 08/14/2012

Lori Griffith, 52, passed away Tuesday, August 14th at her Cashmere, WA home after a long and valiant four-year battle with cancer. Lori was born at Spokane’s Sacred Heart Hospital to Milton and Charlene Sannes.

Lori spent her childhood in Spokane attending Balboa Elementary, Salk Jr. High and Shadle Park High School where she was on the honor roll and a varsity cheerleader among other school activities before graduating in 1978. She went on to Washington State University, became a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority, and received a BA degree in Business Management (‘82). She married her college sweetheart, John Griffith of Cashmere in 1983 and they made their first home in Wenatchee. Lori became a member of the original staff of Eastern Washington Savings and Loan, while John joined his family’s orchard business producing pears, apples, and cherries. In 1985 she was elected as president of the East Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce, where she helped organize the first Classy Chassis parade. After working in banking for several years she was hired as Marketing Director for Group W Cable and appeared on air, promoting special Disney and HBO programming. Going out on her own, she started a retail sporting goods store called “The Skate Lady” and later renamed “Hockey Plus” in the old Wenatchee ice rink as well as an outlet in Kennewick. She continued to own and operate these stores even after the birth of their daughter, Leah, in 1991. Lori eventually sold her retail stores to devote her time to raising Leah. She always had a love of houses and real estate, and in finding that she could not stay away from the professional world, she gained experience working for Washington Mutual, and then became a certified Real Estate Appraiser in 1998, opening a successful business called “Cascade Site Services, LLC”, which she ran until she retired last year, due to her illness. Despite enormous pain, Lori was determined to live an active lifestyle. She took many trips to California to visit Leah at college, traveled to Germany and New York City for treatment, and finally got to see Hawaii, a gift from her husband to celebrate her life. She spent her last summer at Loon Lake, a special place full of happy memories from family vacations as a young girl to more recent weekends of bonfires and boat rides with friends.

Lori was an inspiration to those who knew her. She put great effort and passion into everything she did. On the third anniversary of her diagnosis, September 15, 2011, Lori sent this message: “I do not like to dwell on being a medical patient. Too much life to live and enjoy each day.”

She is preceded in death by her father, Milton Sannes. She is survived by her husband John; daughter Leah; mother Charlene Sannes of Spokane; brother Mark Sannes (Sandi, Cameron, and Marissa) of Spokane Valley; sister Diane Draper (Jay, Jennifer, Reed, and Jack) of Kennewick; and sister Jill Ross (Stephan Reckie, Ashley, Garrett, and Stephanie Ross) of Golden, CO. Her family would like to give special thanks to: Dr. Ryan Holbrook, MD and Dr. Robert Fairbanks, MD of Cancer Care Northwest in Spokane, Dr. Mandy Robertson, Celeste, and all the infusion nurses at the Wenatchee Valley Medical Center, and Michelle Church of Central Washington Hospital’s Hospice Services.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 25th at 10:00 am at Cashmere United Methodist Church located at 213 S. Division St. Cashmere. A reception will immediately follow at the Monitor United Methodist Church, 3799 Fairview Canyon, Monitor WA. Those who wish may send memorial donations in honor of Lori Griffith to Cashmere Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 177, Monitor WA 98836-0177. Lori’s online memorial book can be found at