Gregory Hale McDiffett
Of Alta Vista, KS
Greg was born on September 16, 1951 in Junction City, KS. He was the son of L. S. “Scott,” Sr. and Helen (Ziegler) McDiffett. Greg was in the last graduating class of Alta Vista High School in 1969, and then trained in Manhattan, KS to be a diesel mechanic. He was united in marriage to Deborah Kay Hennes on March 21, 1971 in the Pleasant Ridge Church.
After a brief stint at the John Deere dealership in Council Grove as a mechanic, Greg worked as a union construction laborer for the next 30+ years. In his “retirement” he took over operation of his father’s service station in Alta Vista, renaming it McDiffett Service in 2001. Greg was skilled at repairing small engines such as lawn mowers and chain saws and was a helpful and honest businessman, always willing to make an after-hours trip to “The Station” to fix a flat tire or pump some gas for a stranded traveler. Even though retired from construction he would often stop at the job sites in Manhattan on his way to pick up parts for his repair business to “check on” his sons and their projects.
Greg was an outdoorsman his whole life who loved to hunt and fish, especially enjoying elk hunting in the mountains of Colorado with his sons Jason and Nathan, and his nephews. To support his bird hunting hobby, for several years he raised German Shorthair puppies and trained them for hunting quail and other wildfowl. His favorite fishing spots were "The Tubes” at both Council Grove and Tuttle Creek reservoirs.
Greg enjoyed traveling with his family and made several trips with them to Aspen, Colorado to see his son Travis perform in professional theatrical shows; as well as sightseeing trips to Denver and Colorado Springs, and a very special surprise trip to Graceland in Memphis, TN as a treat for his wife Deb.
Greg enjoyed many athletic activities, including playing football and basketball for Alta Vista High School; and later in young adulthood played coed softball and joined a men’s recreational bowling league. He loved watching sports with his family and friends, especially Kansas City Chiefs football.
Greg treasured time with his family; he greatly loved spoiling his grandchildren (and granddogs). His loving family includes his wife of 48 years, Deb of Alta Vista; children Travis McDiffett of Aspen, CO, Jason McDiffett of Junction City, and Nathan (Annie) McDiffett of Alta Vista; grandchildren Stevie Kay McDiffett and Shelby McDiffett; great grandson Ethan Fuller; and Greg's siblings Linda McDiffett of Manhattan, Beverly McDiffett-Roeser of Manhattan, and Mickey (Lori) McDiffett of Alta Vista.
Greg passed away on January 3, 2020 at University of Kansas Medical Center from complications of heart disease and pulmonary hypertension. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother L. S. “Scotty” McDiffett, Jr. and sister-in-law Patricia (Cronin) McDiffett.
His family invites you to join loved ones and friends at a casual memorial gathering on Saturday January 11, 2020 from 3 - 5 p.m. at the Sawyer Funeral Home; a time to enjoy some of his favorite foods and share memories of Greg in celebration of his life.
Greg chose to be an organ and tissue donor and his family requests memorial contributions in Greg’s name be directed to Midwest Transplant Network in support of the non-profit organization that has made his gifts available to so many in need. https://www.mwtn.org/get-involved/monetary-donations/
Greg’s family is so grateful to the caring and skilled staff at University of Kansas Medical Center, you may also choose to give a gift in his memory to the University of Kansas Medical Foundation, a non-profit designed to assist in programs and education for the staff of the facility.
Please sign his online guestbook and leave a memory or words of comfort for his family at www.sawyerchapel.com.
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