Sept. 17, 1961 — Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019
The Big Guy was born Sept. 17, 1961, to Lester and Joyce Diehl in Gooding, Idaho. Although he was the smallest born of his two older brothers, he quickly grew up to be a formible, strong young man.
His family moved to Genesee and, in 1976, moved to Orofino when his father took a job as superintendent of schools for Joint 171. From that time on, Greg would consider Orofino to be his true home.
As a new sophomore at Orofino High School, Greg forged strong friendships with his classmates, many who are still to this day his best buddies and brothers. He was becoming an outstanding athlete and spent many hours in the weight room, playing football, basketball and wrestling. As a high school junior, he took second place in state wrestling, only to turn around as a senior and take the state championship against that same opponent from the prior year. He had drive.
After graduating from Orofino High School in 1979, it was no surprise when Greg took a full-ride football scholarship to the University of Idaho, his father’s alma mater. Many locals would remember the success that the two small-town boys would have with the Idaho Vandal football program; Greg, the offensive right tackle No. 76 (or “Freight Train,” as his teammates knew him), and Ken Hobart, the “Kamiah Kid,” as quarterback. The early ’80s were some of the best years in Vandal football history. After his four-year stint in college with the Sigma Nu Fraternity (or Animal House, as it came to be known), Greg returned to Orofino to pursue his second life’s passion, a career in logging.
Greg began hooking for the Kludt Brothers. They taught him the logging world and he soon developed a love for the industry and the outdoors. While he worked for various outfits throughout time, he later became a sawyer for a three-man crew with Finke Logging. It was a job he held for more than 30 years. While Jim Finke would suggest he get off the deck and start operating equipment, Greg just wanted to buck logs. He was stubborn that way. He was happiest with a saw in his hands. Fellow loggers were his extended family.
Greg lived big and out loud. If you were his friend, you knew it. He hunted and fished with his black Lab, shot trap at the local gun club, went to Vandals football games and spent a lot of time with his buddies. Logging, he was a hard-working, dedicated individual who spent a lot of time in the woods. But he played hard, too. Be it drinking beer, watching Steeler and Badger football, sumo wrestling at M&M Pizza or taking care of his neighbors in the compound, he was always surrounded by people who loved him. He always gave more than he took.
In 2007, his life became complete when he met his Wisconsin girl, Sandy. Despite both being stubborn as mules, they became best friends and fell deeply in love. They balanced each other and filled the gaps in each other’s lives. With their black Lab, their life was happy and complete for many years. Unfortunately, logging was beginning to take a toll on Greg’s health, although he tried to hide it from others. On Aug. 20, 2019, we lost him to the hopelessness and darkness in his mind.
Greg is survived by his girl, Sandy; his mother, Joyce (Lewiston); his brother, Dan, and wife Kim (Pocatello); and two beautiful nieces.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lester; and his brother, Jeffery.
A celebration of Greg’s life will be held starting at 11 a.m. Oct. 12 at his and Sandy’s home in Orofino. It will be outdoors as Greg would have wanted. Please bring a dish to share and lawn chairs. Together, let’s share stories and laughs and say goodbye to our Big Guy.