In Memory of



Obituary for Terry Griswold

Terry "The Griz" Griswold, was a badass. Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1947, son of Walter and Norma Jean Griswold.

Terry always dreamed of being a soldier and protecting this amazing country. He fell in love with the wilderness, guns and hunting dogs in the backwoods of TN with his Uncle Leland. He purposely went on to Castle Heights Military Academy, became an Eagle Scout in his down time and then joined the ROTC program at the University of Tennessee. Upon graduating from UT in 1969, Griz was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army and began living the life of Special Forces as he achieved many designations including Airborne, Ranger, Pathfinder and Green Beret. Griz suffered a broken back when his parachute failed to open on a routine jump in Germany. Not one to miss an opportunity, Terry began flirting with his Commander’s daughter who came to visit him daily. Debbie turned out to be the love of his life and even jumped out of perfectly good planes with him. His military career provided a life of adventure and travel as he and his family enjoyed living in Ft. Bragg, Ft. Benning, Heidelberg, Berlin and Ft. Leavenworth, before retiring in Lansing in 1990. During those years he was an essential part of the Battle at Quang Tri, led a clandestine unit during the Cold War, helped train Iranian Special forces and became the first Special Operations Instructor at CGSC. For the next 20 years, Griswold served as a subject matter expert with BCTP, wrote a book and trained security forces in the UAE. He received numerous awards, too many to list here, because as already stated, Griz was a badass.

If you think Griz was a national treasure because of all his military accomplishments, you are absolutely correct. What's even more amazing however, is what an incredible father Terry was. Rob and Liz were Terry and Debbie's pride and joy. They are the two luckiest kids to ever walk this planet. Terry was Superman, the man of steel, who also happened to have a heart of gold. Whether it was cheering at every soccer and volleyball game, taking the kids and all of their friends skiing in Colorado, partying at Kansas State Dad's weekends, or even being there as a father-figure for others, Papa Griz was always willing to help. Terry was the type of dad every man should aspire to be, and every woman should hope to be fortunate enough to raise a family with.

For 65 years Griz had mastered the art of avoiding death, but the effects of Vietnam's Agent Orange began to take its toll, and his body began slowly shutting down. Too stubborn to die, or maybe just wanting to see his four grandkids grow into incredible young men and women, Griz enjoyed another decade of fun life experiences. Terry enjoyed still getting in trouble with David, his brother and best friend. He loved sporting events with the family, had countless conversations with old and new friends, and adored his yellow Labrador retrievers. He savored special whiskeys with his son-in-law Marcus and looked forward to his meaningful conversations with his daughter-in-law Nicole. But, by far his favorite thing was hearing about and seeing his grandkids Kailey, Owen, Lainey and Logan excel at whatever new activity they were into at the time. In his eyes, they were perfect and could do no wrong! His body was quitting on him, but his mind and sense of humor were as sharp as ever. Terry's greatest gift that he shared with everyone was his unbelievable positive outlook on life.

On Nov 19, 2022, Grizzy gave Rob, Liz and Marcus a big giant smile, squeezed their hands tightly and closed his eyes for the last time. The Griz had decided he had finally had enough of this earth and went to join his beautiful wife, Debbie, in Valhalla, the Heaven for Warriors…. because that is what he was…. A Badass Warrior.

RIP GRIZ. Thank you for everything.

A graveside service with military honors will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, at Leavenworth National Cemetery, with Pastor Cape Rust officiating. In lieu of flowers, Terry requested that any donations be given to The Khaki Hound and Camo Kitty, a local pet boarding facility that helps out Veterans and Active Duty Military with their pets when they have to be gone.