Richard “Dick” Griset, Sr., passed away in his sleep in Fallbrook on March 21, 2009, after a long illness. He was a longtime resident of Fallbrook. Dick was born in Tustin on October 3, 1928, to Gaston and Blanche Griset. He graduated from Tustin High and UCLA. Shortly after graduation from UCLA, he married Joanna, whom he met while at the university.
After obtaining his commission through the Air Force Aviation Cadet Program during the Korean War, he served several years as a navigator and instructor in Sacramento. A firm believer in education, he spent most of his later service as the North San Diego County Liaison Officer to the Air Force Academy. While in Sacramento, he was also active in state, local and party politics and was a Master Mason as member of the Washington Masonic Lodge #20.
He came to the friendly village of Fallbrook in 1963. While in Fallbrook, he served as the San Diego County Farm Bureau President. Although he ranched most of his life, he may be best known for his ownership of Heritage Square and as the “not-so-silent partner” in the original Wayside Café. He also served as the president of the high school’s Band Booster Club and was active with various other organizations around town including: the Rotary Club of Fallbrook, Fallbrook Historical Society, Fallbrook Players, and Fallbrook Assembly of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joanna (Jo) of Fallbrook; sons Richard (Rick) Griset (Cheryl) of Virginia Beach, VA, and John Griset (Leslie) of Thousand Oaks, CA; and daughter Joie (Jolu) Griset (Jerry Baran) of Fallbrook. Dick is also survived by grandchildren Richard III, Joshua and Matthew Griset of Virginia and Danielle and Megan Baran of Fallbrook. His only surviving sibling is Henrietta Hurley of San Luis Obispo.
While no service will be held, the family asks in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to The Rotary Foundation, PO Box 1227, Fallbrook, CA 92088, or the Fallbrook Historical Society, PO Box 1375, Fallbrook, CA 92088.