Patricia Griffin Cardwell

Published 12:40 am Friday, December 9, 2011

Patricia Griffin Cardwell, 61, died Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. The funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday at the First Christian Church with Rev. Karen Kelly and Rev. Jim Bussell officiating. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery with military honors.

Pat was the daughter of Betty Nowarah Griffin and the late Reginald Griffin.

She was a graduate of Williamston High School and a member of the First Christian Church. On Dec. 31, 2007, Patricia retired as a Command Sergeant Major from the North Carolina Army National Guard (NCARNG) after serving her State and nation for over 28 years. At the time of her retirement, Patricia was serving in a dual status as both the Chief Personnel Services of the Human Resources Section (Active Guard Reserve (AGR) at Joint Forces Headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., and as the Command Sergeant Major for the 217th Human Resources Battalion Headquarters. Patricia joined the North Carolina Army National Guard as a Specialist (E-4) under the Civilian Acquired Skills Program on Dec. 5, 1979. Patricia became a member of the full-time National Guard Force under the AGR program on May 1, 1984. She attended the United States Army Sergeants Major Course at the USA Sergeants Major Academy, Fort Bliss, Tex. from Aug. 13, 2001 thru May 30, 2002. On April 1, 2004 Patricia was promoted to the distinguished rank of Sergeant Major. This promotion placed her in North Carolina Army National Guard history as the “first female Sergeant Major in the NCARNG”.  On Oct. 15, 2006, Patricia was laterally appointed as a Command Sergeant Major.

Survivors in addition to her mother are her brothers, Roy Griffin and wife Patricia of Williamston, and Thomas R. Griffin of Memphis, Tenn.; niece, Ashley Griffin of Durham, and nephew, Clay Griffin and wife Kristy of Greenville.

The family will receive friends from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Friday at Biggs Funeral Home and other times at 111 Williams Street.

Memorials may be made to Martin County AMVETS, First Christian Church or Martin County Relay for Life in her memory.

Arrangements are by Biggs Funeral Home. Online condolences to