Sara Graves Griffin Working, affectionately known to those who loved her as “Ama,” or “Sally,” passed away peacefully on Oct. 19, 2021, in her lifelong home of Coronado, California.
Ama was born to Lt. Cmdr Virgil Childers “Squash” Griffin, Jr. and Elize Whiting Hall in Mobile, Alabama on March 29, 1929. Her father made the first takeoff from a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier when he flew a VE-7 fighter from the deck of the USS Langley (CV-1). His naval career took the family to duty stations such as Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, and Hawaii. They always returned to Coronado where Ama lived for most of her life.
She met the love of her life, also a naval aviator, Patrick Lincoln Working at the original Coronado Mexican Village restaurant, and was married in a small ceremony in Hawaii on July 21, 1951. They had three children together before Patrick tragically passed away in 1964 after a battle with melanoma. Ama spoke of his kindness and her love for him nearly every day until the day she passed.
The other great love in Ama’s life was Cdr. James Olson, a legendary Coronado character much beloved by many, who paired perfectly with her. The two of them imbued their Coronado home with life, laughter, and soul until his passing in 1996.
After her mother Elize passed away at the age of 103, Ama succeeded her as the matriarch of the family. She opened her home to everyone and welcomed hundreds of guests over the years for all of life’s celebrations. Ama was more than a grandma or mom, Ama was a beloved friend to many.
Ama had a quick-witted sense of humor and was an avid sports fan. She loved to challenge family and friends to small bets that usually resulted in placing her winnings in picture frames on her wall. Ama traveled to countless baseball, soccer, water polo, softball, and volleyball games for kids and grandkids.
In Coronado, she could be found beating her friends at bridge handily, or sitting in her chair in the den watching whatever sport was on TV, or using her grandkid’s Spotify to play Ella Fitzgerald and reminiscing about life.
Ama is survived by her children, Molly (Trey Rayburn) Roby, James (Susan) Working, Patrick (Robin) Working; her doting grandchildren, Keith (Jennie) Roby, Brooke (Andrew) Gharst, Maxwell (Julia Kardon) Working, Samuel Working, Katy (William) Peters, Griffin Working, Cassie Callahan, Abigail Callahan; her great-grandchildren, Halle Gharst, Cash Gharst, Laurel Roby, Reid Roby; her brother Richard (Marty) Griffin; and many friends including her devoted caregiver Telida Heart.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Humane Society, where Ama adopted many of her cats over the years.