Duke was born July 10th, 1937 to Sarah & Rawleigh Griego.
He leaves behind Nancy, a loving wife of 57 years; four wonderful children, Mary Jane Griego & husband (Jeff Schneider), April Griego, Albert Griego and Chanel Haag & her husband (Jason), and adopted daughter, Rachel McKinney, grandchildren, Jeremiah, Stephen, Trent, Amber, Ashley, and Sabrina, plus a great granddaughter, Moria McClain. He has sisters, Annie, Marylee, Junie, and Francis, all from Colorado, and a sister, Helen Bryant & brother, Rudy Griego from California.
Duke entered the United States Army at the early age of 15 during the Korean War, he spent time in Japan and Korea before returning to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Army is where Duke learned his cooking skills.
Returning to California, Duke worked at several restaurants in the Sacramento and Central Valley areas. In 1963, Duke and Nancy, in their twenties, had an opportunity to open their first business in Yuba County on the corner of 3rd & E Street in Marysville called Dixie Pancake House, and then later opened Duke's Diner in South Yuba County. Duke loved the restaurant business. He enjoyed creating all the great dishes there at Duke's. He enjoyed working with his family and friends every day.
Duke had outside hobbies when he wasn't in the kitchen. You could find him at Plumas Lake Golf course. He loved the competitiveness of the game, but most of all he enjoyed the friendships that he made. Duke was always happy to share that he is he proud owner of four "holes in one." I'm sure that many can still remember stock car #92 at Marysville Triple M Speedway in the 60's and early 70's. He loved the competition of the fast cars on a smooth track. On most Saturday nights you could find Duke sitting with Albert, Dave, Wally and others enjoying another season of fine racing. Duke was the president of the racing association the year that they built the race track that is there today.
Duke was a member of the Local VFW and also a past Lindhurst Moose member. He was active in his community, always helping so many from the young to the old and everyone in-between.
Duke would love to talk about current events and politics over a cup of coffee. You could always tell Duke's temperament based on how hot his famous Duke's chili was that day.
This past Saturday Duke had just returned from Mexico with his buddies Christopher, Bennie and Juan. They had enjoyed playing a couple games of golf next to the ocean and they ate some wonderful meals there. He went to Duke's Diner early that Sunday morning to catch up on the recent happenings and talking to friends.
Sunday evening he spent time talking to Nancy telling her how much he loved her and gave her a kiss and went to bed as he always did. He said his prayers and asked God to take care of his beautiful family and during the night, at age 76, he passed into the arms of God peacefully the way he wanted to.
A Celebration of his Life will be held at Plumas Lake Golf Course, Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.
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Published in Appeal Democrat from Apr. 10 to Apr. 12, 2014