Current Issue / DU Alumni

Retired staffer Rosy Griffiths helps seniors see the world

Boxes of slides, thousands of photographs, more airline miles than anyone can count and precious memories are the rewards of being a world traveler for nearly 50 years. And they all belong to retired DU staffer Rosy Griffiths, BSBA ’78 and MA ’87, who’s passing her traveling joys on to her peers.

A few years ago, Griffiths began taking groups of senior citizens, including other DU retirees, to see U.S. attractions. This year over Memorial Day weekend, Griffiths and 30 other senior citizens traveled to South Dakota by bus to see the presidential faces carved into Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial.

“I lead tour groups of seniors because senior citizens need to do things they can afford,” says Griffiths, who notes that she tries to find inexpensive travel options.

College of Law amicus Philip Gauthier and his wife, Mary, met Griffiths at a DU retirees’ luncheon two years ago. Although they’ve traveled the world, visiting exotic locations like Thailand, Portugal and Hong Kong, health problems have kept them home for the past few years. Mary says that Griffiths’ trip to South Dakota was the perfect opportunity to ease back into traveling.

“I said, ‘Until we feel better, let’s let someone else do the work,’” Mary recalls. “We just got on the bus and didn’t have to fix a meal or make a bed.”

Griffiths got bit by the travel bug in 1959 when she and her husband went on a tour of Europe (a trip organized by a DU professor). In 1979, she began leading tour groups for the U.S. China People’s Friendship Association.

Griffiths retired from DU in 1987 after working for 38 years in various departments, including student health services where she administered faculty, staff and student health insurance. But for Griffiths, retirement hasn’t meant slowing down. A friend gave her a map of the United States and a box of pins to track her travels.

“I find it hard to believe when people tell me they’re bored. I’m never bored,” she says. “It energizes me to travel because I get to see more of the world.”

Griffiths and her husband, Al, have seen most of the United States and toured much of Asia, including China and Tibet. Next year, they’re hoping to make their way to one of Denver’s 10 sister cities, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She’s also busy planning a May trip to Deadwood, S.D.

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