Teddy was born April 19, 1918 at home in Arroyo Grande, Ca, the 4th child, 3rd son, to Fred and Gertrude Grieb.
He was a quiet and reserved boy growing up and worked with his father and brothers on the Grieb Ranch. He loved animals, going horseback riding and spending time outdoors. He had a good sense of humor and at times played practical jokes.
Teddy was known for his hunting skills. Every year he would go deer hunting and bring back a deer. His mother would use some of the meat for roasts and stews, but a lot of it was used to make venison jerky. The meat was prepared with salt and red pepper, strung on string and hung on the clothesline to dry. Once in a while he would bring home enough quail to feed the whole family.
Fishing was also a favorite activity for Ted-salmon, rockfish, clams and abalone. Anything he brought home was cleaned and prepared for his mother to cook.
He completed 3 years of high school before he dropped out in 1936 to work full time. He was a hard worker. At one time, he was employed by Sheila Varian to tend her Arabian horses. He also worked on several ranches, doing general farm and ranch work.
On December 7, 1941, Teddy was driving up the coast to go abalone diving with brother Carl and friend Bob Sewell, when he heard on the radio that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. On February 21, 1942, at age 24, Teddy enlisted in the Army for the duration of the war. He was first stationed at the Presidio of Monterey, Ca. His sister Claire loved to correspond with him and he always wrote her back.
He was shipped overseas and served on the front lines in the South Pacific. He experienced horrific and unspeakable things in Papua, New Guinea. He went into battle with 200 men and was one of 19 to survive. In his own troop, he was the only survivor. Severely wounded, he spent many months in the hospital. To make matters worse, he contracted malaria due to the wet and humid conditions on the island.
His family did not think they would ever see him again. When he did come home, he was severely traumatized and filled with shrapnel. The shrapnel worked out of his head and neck for the rest of his life. His daughter Kathy kept his army uniform and eventually donated it to the Veteran’s Center in Fresno. For many years after the war, Ted would spend time with his army buddies.
In 1948-49 he owned a property in the Oak Park area. He lived in a small house and rented the larger house to friends Bob and Dorothy Sewell.
On June 23, 1952, he married Doris Mallory. His dad, Fred bought two motel units and moved them to the ranch property and put them together as housing for him and his family. He had four children, Kathy 1953, Robert 1954, Floyd 1955 and Larry 1957.
While residing on the ranch, he supported his family by working in a rock quarry, selling flagstone. He made a good living as he sold good quality flagstone accomplishing the work equivalent of four or five men in one day.
Ted was a loving father. Kathy recalls that he would read to her and taught her to read chapter books. He gave her Strawberry Roan which she has kept and treasured all these years. She also said Ted was willing to sit down and talk to his kids about their problems and figure out the answers.
In later years, Ted lived near his daughter Kathy and babysat his granddaughters. He fed them when they came home from school and helped them with their homework. He was very kind and loving. Kathy’s’ family was heartbroken when in 1996 he moved to Yuma, AZ and bought a mobile home near his son Robert.
Ted lived the rest of his life in Yuma, fishing and hunting and spending his time outdoors. He would occasionally visit his brother Carl and other family members in Arroyo Grande.
He died at his home on July 24, 2004. He is buried in the Arroyo Grande Cemetery next to his father and mother Fred and Gertrude Grieb. He was a good man who will always be missed by his family.
Contributed by Kathy Martin, Claire Sorenson, Carl and Barbara Grieb and Sandi Ferrio