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Posted on Apr 23, 2018
Empty Saddles

Billy Royce Griggs 1948 - 2018

 Royce Griggs, one of the most well known ranch managers in the United States entered into rest on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

On July 24, 1948, Royce was born to William (Bill) Griggs and Charlotte Hobbs in Brownwood, Texas. He spent his childhood on the Pfluger Ranch between Big Lake and Ozona, TX with his grandparents George and Ruby Griggs. He moved to Carlsbad, NM as an teenager and soon began day working local ranches. This ultimately led to him working for Diamond A Cattle Co before the age of 20. Diamond A Cattle Co at that time was the largest ranching operation in the United States with Robert O Anderson listed as the largest single land owner in country with well over two million acres of ranches. By hard work and tenacity Royce worked his way up to foreman of the Squaw Canyon Ranch, which led to foreman jobs at Wagon Mound, (NM), Ladder Ranch (NM), and periodic stints at the Big Bend operation (TX), and back to the Diamond A on the Rio Hondo.

In 1992 Robert O Anderson began dispersing various pieces of Diamond A Cattle Co, to the likes of Ted Turner and other individuals. But Robert loved the main headquarters in central New Mexico and offered that final piece to his good friend Gerald J. Ford, banking billionaire from Dallas. Royce had become Robert O’s favorite among the managers and planned all along to push for him to remain with the Rio Hondo operation and Diamond A headquarters. However, the sale took time and before the deal could be struck Henry Singleton (Singleton Ranches) offered him the manager job on his 1,100,000 acre operation.

Robert O. knew Royces’ heart was in the Hondo Valley and urged Mr. Ford to quickly make an offer. The Singleton offer was matched and in 1992 Royce became manager of 160,000 acre Rio Hondo Land and Cattle Co. All total Royce spent over fifty years cowboying, ironically starting on the Rio Hondo and ending there at his passing.

Those left to eternally treasure and cherish the memory of Royce are his children: Melissa Webb (Robert), Austin Texas from his first marriage to Adrienne Etcheverry. Son  Will Griggs (Tausha) Magda, Utah, from his second marriage to JoAnne Castleberry. Grandchildren: Wyatt Griggs, Steele Griggs, and Laney Webb. He is survived by brothers, Nick Griggs, Canyon, TX, J.B. Terrell ( Jane) Ruidoso, NM, Sid Terrell, Moriarity, NM and sister Kay Griggs, Miami Shores, FL.    

Preceding Royce in death were his parents: Bill Griggs and Charlotte Hobbs; and grandparents: George and Ruby Griggs, A.C and Winona McCurdy.

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