I thought it easier to post Griffin's eulogy, that we wrote as a family, than trying to come up with my own words. I have to say that our family has experienced a lot of loss and without the gospel of Jesus Christ I don't know how I would be able to get through the loss of my father and brothers. I miss Griffin very much but, am comforted to know he is with my dad and brother, Chris.
Joshua Griffin Gaughan was born December 29, 1993 in Overland Park, Kansas, to Pete and Dona Gaughan. He was the 7th of 8 children. Griffin was a hefty 9 pound baby, surprisingly chubby. The older he got the thinner he became not to mention taller and taller at 6’ 3”. There was speculation among friends and family that he was such a lightweight due to his eating habits. Those of you who knew him, knew that he only ate a few things such as ramen, totinos, and pb and j. Family members can remember him saying that it was annoying and inconvenient to eat.
When he was 3, mom gave him a small bin of legos and he sat and played with them while she painted the entire family room from floor to ceiling. What we might think of playing with legos was not his idea of playing with legos. He could create elaborate structures. As he got older he shifted his attention to building more complex contraptions that would actually shoot projectiles. He even turned Derek and Chris’s old bedroom into a lego and knex world, complete with a duct tape grid covering the entire floor. When Griffin was around 4 or 5 he really showed how much of a neat nick he was. Mom would fix him a bowl of cereal and he would get a washcloth and sit it next to his bow to clean up any drips.
When he was in elementary school he came home 1 day and asked if he could play an instrument. He chose to play the viola; and he was amazing at it. He was so talented that he attained 1st chair in orchestra and never gave it up. He also participated in the Olathe Youth Symphony and competed in various competitions, including making it all the way to state.
At church Griffin was in a young men’s presidency and some of his tasks included taking attendance as well as keeping track of which boys remembered to bring their scriptures. Griffin really enjoyed being in this position because he got to give demerits when they forgot their scriptures or when they were talking during class.
Back in 2006, our older brother, Chris introduced him to snowboarding. He loved to snowboard. Derek, Chris, and Griffin went to Colorado where he skillfully maneuvered the slopes and Derek skillfully maneuvered going down the slopes on his backside. Griffin had a natural apptitude for anything involving computers, he once said he understood the rules of computer language better than he understood the English language. We remember him building a custom computer, he used plexiglass from a broken plow and other plastic products to build a case for it. After junior high school he attended Olathe North West High School and was accepted into the aerospace and engineering program. He was in Honors Math, Taking College Algebra and preCalc. He was also accepted onto the high school robotics team. He really enjoyed helping program the robots.
Griffin attained the rank of Eagle Scout. There may have been a little help from mom. He spent many hours working on merit badges and his eagle project, which was an identification clinic for children of our community.
In the last few years he got involved in playing paintball with some of the family. He liked to modify, take apart and add upgrades to his paintball guns and other gear. I guess paintball was to messy for a neat nick like Griffin and so he moved on to playing airsoft; which is like a bb gun with plastic bb’s. He found a group in Lawson, Missouri who he became very involved with. He had to tryout for their team and of course made it. As in any sport things get broken and of course Griffin likes to fix things. He offered to fix his teammates airsoft guns and after the first few fixes they realized what an asset to their team he was not just as a player but as a technician. His creativity, skill and reputation with the team led to the start of a thriving business.
Griffin recently purchased a motorcycle and Derek was teaching him how to ride and as always Griff was a natural.
Griffin was an incredible individual. He was compassionate, kindhearted, creative, had a brilliant mind and was a good friend. Joshua Griffin Gaughan passed away on April 9, 2012 at the age of 18. He leaves behind his mother Dona, 6 siblings: Aaron, Brandi, Derek, Elyse, Faith, And Hope, 18 nieces and nephews. We will all miss him very much. He joins our Father, Pete and our brother, Chris who I know will look out for him until we are reunited as a family.