Obituary: Richard Nelson Fulstone |

Obituary: Richard Nelson Fulstone

Oct. 3, 1927 – Aug. 7, 2013

Richard Nelson Fulstone passed away at his Smith Valley home surrounded by his family on August 7, 2013, after an eight year battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born in San Francisco to Dr. Mary Hill and Fred Moline Fulstone on October 3, 1927 and raised on the family ranch in Smith Valley, Nevada. He married Georgia Ames of Piedmont, California in 1952. They have four children, Cynthia, Elise, Annette and Steven; and seven grandchildren, Patricia Nugent Lingamfelter, Hayden and Emily Fulstone, Emmett and Charlie Tabor and Will and Caroline Marriott.

Richard graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) with a degree in economics and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, spending most of that time in Japan. Upon returning to the family ranch, he started the first commercial cattle feed yard in the area, also making and sending alfalfa pellets to Japan. At that time he went into the trucking business to deliver the alfalfa pellets from Smith Valley to the Port of Oakland. He served for 16 years on the Lyon County School Board, served on the N-3 Grazing Board, was a charter member of the National Cattlemen’s Association, a charter and life member of the Lyon County Museum, was named Outstanding Conservation Farmer in Mason Valley in 1981 and Outstanding Conservation Farmer in Smith Valley in 1993, and was a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, an honorary agricultural society at UNR. He was until his death chairman of the U.S. Board of Water Commissioners for the Walker River. Richard for many years was a director of Sierra Pacific Resources, retiring at age 72, and was an early investor in the Heavenly Valley Ski Area, along with other members of his family. Richard was a member of the Pacific Union Club and the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. He was a director of the Western States Meat Packers Association when he owned and ran Peoples Packing Company in Yerington, Nevada. He purchased his brother and sisters’ interests in the family ranch in 1985, added acreage to it, improved the cattle herd and expanded its BLM/USFS ranges. He was recognized and honored by the U.S. Forest Service as a good steward of the range. Richard brought the ranching corporation into the 21st century with laser-leveling of the fields and concrete-lined ditches from the river to the fields where the water was dispersed by sprinklers, thus saving water, which he knew was precious in Nevada. Richard and Georgia were married for more than 61 years; traveled extensively; had a vacation home in Glenbrook, Nevada, on Lake Tahoe; and rented a small apartment on Nob Hill in San Francisco; and enjoyed a vast number of friends and family around the world. His children and grandchildren now own the ranch and Steven carries on in his father’s footsteps, making further improvements as needed.

Confucius said, “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” The family thinks this aptly depicts who Richard was!

Contributions in his memory may be made to the charity of your choice, The Parkinson’s Institute of Sunnyvale, California, the Dr. Mary Fulstone Endowment Fund at the UNR Medical School or the Fulstone Family Scholarship Fund at the UNR Foundation.

The family wishes to thank the Merrill Gardens Assisted Living Garden House care givers, Hospice, Great Basin Home Health Care, Kate Scott and Dana Schaffer, all of whom watched over Richard and took good care of him during the last six months of his life.