May 22, 2009
by WLJ

Richard Mahon Sr.

Richard Earl (Dick) Mahon Sr. passed away at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, ID, on May 12, 2009. He was born on the Historic Mahon Ranch in Elk Grove, CA, on Jan. 12, 1926, to John William and Bertha Mae (Nelmes) Mahon. He graduated from Elk Grove Union High School and earned an athletic scholarship to Stanford University.

Upon leaving the home ranch, Dick diverted from ranching to row crop farming. He raised tomatoes, sugar beets, corn, grain, beans and hay. In 1953, he was nominated for Young Farmer of the Year. In 1960, Dick became the manager of Boccardo Cattle Co. in Marysville, CA, and Alder Creek Cattle Co. in Denio, NV. In 1972, he took over the Dixon Livestock Yard in Dixon, CA. Five years later, he became a self-employed cattle broker. Dick marketed cattle for some of the largest ranches in six western states.

In 1980, he left California to manage the ZX Ranch in Paisley, OR. While managing the ZX Ranch, he was instrumental in coordinating Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service and private leases of properties totaling more than 1 million acres of grazing land and the management of over 20,000 head of cattle.

Dick retired in 1986 in Lake County, OR, where he resided until 2006 when he moved to Grand View, ID, to be near his daughter, Shawna.

Dick was on the University of California Dean’s Committee for the Improvement of Large Animal Veterinary Students. He was also a member of the Lakeview BLM Advisory Board, Fremont National Forest Advisory Board, and a director of the Silver Lake Irrigation District, all in Oregon. Under his guidance, one of the largest Allotment Management Plans through BLM was signed and implemented.

The livestock industry was his life’s passion and remained that way until his death. In lieu of flowers, support the beef industry and enjoy a good steak on Dick. He is survived by his children: Richard Mahon Jr. and wife, Fran, of Yuba City, CA; Sharon and husband, Randy Fiscus, of Lincoln, CA; Rita and husband, Greg Haughin, of Citrus Heights, CA; Erin and husband, Ken Chimarusti, of Rocklin, CA; and Shawna Mahon of Grand View, ID. He is also survived by many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews as well as many dear friends.

Dick was preceded in death by a daughter, Marilyn Gastelum, and brothers William (Bill), Lester, and Donald (Top), and a sister, Muriel.

A memorial will be held at the Historic Mahon Ranch at 10171 Grant Line Road in Elk Grove, CA, on Sunday, May 31, 2009, at 11 a.m.