Mary Elizabeth Griffin

May 15, 2024

CHARLOTTE – Mary Elizabeth Griffin, beloved daughter of M. G. Allen and Elberta A. Allen, passed away Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center. She was born on November 5, 1945.

After graduating from Georgetown University in 1965, Mary moved to Charlotte, NC, where she embarked on a fulfilling journey.  Initially working in periodontal dentistry, she later pursued her dream of modeling when she joined Merchandise Mart.

However, Mary’s adventurous spirit led her to pilot school, where she obtained her private plane pilot license.  She also represented Arnold Palmer Cadillac of Charlotte during NASCAR racing seasons in the 70s and 80s.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Mary had a passion for art.  She opened Yellow Holly, a gallery that showcased the works of local artists.  Her love for creativity and beauty touched the lives of many.

Mary’s heart found its home with the honorable Judge Kenneth A. Griffin, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge of Mecklenburg County.  Together, they were devoted members of Central Church of God.

She leaves behind cherished memories for her sisters, Emmie N. Allen of Charlotte, NC and Carolyn A. McAuley of Nevada; nephews, Richard McAuley Jr. of Kure Beach, NC and Timothy W. McAuley of Charlotte, NC and godchild, Harmony Davies Smith.

Services will be private.

Memorials may be offered in memory of Mary to Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 ( or Joel Olsteen Ministries, PO Box 4600, Houston, TX 77210 ( or American Lung Association National Direct Response Headquarters PO Box 756, Osceola, WI 54020 (

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at

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  • Judge David Cayer

    I have fond memories of my friendship with Mary and Ken Griffin. God bless the family during this sad time.