William E. Griffin, a founder and former chairman of Hudson Valley Holding (HVB), has died, the company said Friday.

Griffin was 79 and had suffered from a long illness, according to his obituary. He passed away Sept. 1.

Griffin retired in May after 22 years as chairman but remained an active board member. A building at the company's headquarters in Yonkers was named the Griffin Pavilion in his honor following his retirement.

"He was a remarkable man and an extraordinary leader, who guided the bank's impressive growth and success over the past 40 years," James J. Landy, the former president and chief executive, who succeeded Griffin as chairman, said in a news release. "He leaves an indelible legacy and will be missed by the entire Hudson Valley family and the community."

An attorney, founder and president of the law firm Griffin, Coogan, Blose and Sulzer in Bronxville, N.Y., Griffin was one of 10 local businessmen who founded Hudson Valley Bank in 1972. While Griffin was chairman, Hudson Valley grew from roughly $400 million of assets with 10 branches to more than $2.8 billion of assets, the company said. It currently has 36 branches in New York and Connecticut.

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