As the early morning began Thursday Aug. 1, the life of a military veteran, activist, community leader, lawyer and husband came to an end.
Cipriano Griego, born on December 5, 1944, lived a life advocating for minorities. Born and raised in Albuquerque, Griego attended Albuquerque High School, a school whose students were predominantly Latino. He was standout football player who lettered in the sport and also participated in track and swimming. But when his brother-in-law encouraged him to join the United States Navy, Griego seized the opportunity.
At the age of 17, he joined the Navy and served from 1962 until 1966 and served as a commander. Following his time in the military, Griego used his GI benefits to earn a degree from the University of Albuquerque where he majored in political science.
Thanks to the Ford Foundation, an American private foundation that works to advance human welfare, Griego was able to attend the University of Denverís Law School. While being a full-time student, he worked to advocate for minorities. He played an important role in minorities getting roles in local television. Griego joined the Chicano Mass Media organization, an advocacy group that filed a motion to deny television station licenses to local stations unless they hired minorities. Thanks to the groupís work, more minorities were able to get jobs in the media field.
Griego received the Spirit of Tlatelolco Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the community in 2009 and was a member of the American GI Forum, a group that worked to address problems that Hispanic veterans face like discrimination and inequities. The group said he was a beloved and esteemed member. He also served on the board of trustees for the Community College of Denver and served on the Mayorís judicial nominating committee. The committee worked to appoint different judges.
Griego previously said in an interview with La Voz that the U.S. Navy taught him itís important to study and seek a higher education. Griego had a love for learning.
During the 1970s, Griego opened up Cipriano Griego Law Office, based in Denver, where he practiced general law for decades.
Griego played an instrumental role in helping to advocate for Hispanic rights, working to improve the relationship between police and minorities.
He is survived by his wife, Louise Griego, his two children, Cheryl and Ron (Anna), grandchildren, Stephanie, Ronnie (Alicia) and Sherri. Great-grandchildren Sabrina, Destiny, Isla, Alie, Maya and Noah, sister Elsie Clark (Ralph), brothers-in-law Manuel Perez, Joe Perez (Lorraine) as well as many other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Sorida Griego, sister, Loretta Garcia and grandson, Jason Martinez. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be sent to Louise Griego, 4243 Federal Blvd., Denver, Colorado 80211.
Services: A rosary will be held on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at Horan-McConaty Funeral Home, 3032 Federal Blvd. (Speer), Denver. The funeral mass is on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Guardian Angels Church, 1843 W. 52nd Ave. Denver. Procession to Ft. Logan National Cemetery with Military Honors starting at 1:30 p.m. Reception will follow at the AGIF Mile Hi Chapter, 1717 Federal Blvd., Denver.