Primo Augustino Mussi

Jan. 1, 1928-Sept. 5, 2013

Brogan, Ore.

Primo Augustino Mussi, 85, passed away peacefully at his home on September 5, 2013.

Dad was born at home on January 1st, 1928, in Fallon, Nevada to John & Caterina Mussi. He was the oldest of 3 children. He was born on the first day of the year, the first child and the first boy, so they named him Primo.

Dad spent his early years working side by side with his dad on the family ranch in Fallon. He worked hard all his life and loved every minute of it.

Upon completion of his 2 year draft into the Army, Dad met Mom in Italy while visiting his own family. She was working in the fields next door. Mom says when he saw what a hard worker she was, he proposed! He had to stay in Italy an extra 6 months, which was the bare minimum mom’s mother would consider a proper engagement. They were married in Sestri Levante, Italy in August 1960.

In 1961, the ranch in Ironside was purchased. Mom, Dad, and Dad’s parents worked together until 1965, when his father John passed away. His mom, Rina, continued to live on the ranch until she passed away in 1993. In the years that followed, Primo and Giovanna continued to improve the ranch and raise 4 children. He leveled every field and added acreage wherever he could take out sagebrush and turn it into more field. Dad was a master at irrigation, especially flood irrigation; with just his shovel, he could get water to go exactly where he wanted it. He developed an elaborate irrigating system; installing miles of interconnected underground mainline, to grade, using natural downhill pressure and the water from Little Alder Creek. Between that and two springs, Dad could water every single inch of that ranch every springtime. And it showed in the beautiful hay he grew every year.

Dad’s cows loved him; you could see it by the way they would fondly look up at him when we rode through them, not even bothering to get up. And he loved them, always giving them a “few extra flakes of hay” on Christmas Day. Even though it eventually ruined his knees, he loved his long days in the saddle. He was a wonderful cattleman, and always practiced calm and gentle cattle handling.

He was fascinated with anything to do with WWII history. He read every book and watched every documentary he could, and he loved to share his vast knowledge about it.

Dad loved to fabricate; if something broke down, most times we could search through his large “collection” of scrap iron and he could either find what we needed or find something to make it out of. Everybody knew how much he loved his scrap iron, and his stockpile saved a lot of trips to town!

Primo and Giovanna sold the ranch in 2007 and moved to Brogan on 20 acres of what he called “The most worthless piece of ground you could find”. Regardless, once again, he went to work; clearing trees, filling ditches, moving dirt and leveled it. Last fall Dad was able to fulfill his goal and get back on the little Ford tractor and seed it to Rye, and even though it didn’t get any rain, still managed to get 24 tons off of it.

Dian moved home in the fall of 2007 to be Dad’s right hand man and to “save him a step or two”. They took many trips together to Hood River and back to Fallon to see family and pick pine nuts. And Dad never complained when she held him hostage up in Pullman a time or two! She managed his health care full time up until the end, and will miss their trips to town and Dad’s favorite lunch; Jumbo Jack and a strawberry milkshake. Because Dian was able to make the commitment to assist Dad full time during his final years, he was able to enjoy a greater quality of life.

Primo is survived by his wife, Giovanna, his four children, Wade Mussi of Winnemucca, NV; Kathryn Mussi (Jerry) of Hood River, OR; Dian Mussi-Druffle (Stan) of Pullman, WA; and John Mussi of Fallon, NV. Two sisters; Anita Eckman (Jack) of Reno, NV and Anna Odom (Don) of Lavonia, GA. Three grandchildren; Benjamin Mussi, Matthew Mussi, & Megan Griffin, and several nieces and nephews.

A heartfelt thank you goes to his son in law , Stan, for everything he did with and for our Dad. Dad always looked forward to Stan’s visits, (mainly for the work projects we were going to get done!) but also for the conversations about farming. Stan loved Dad as much as we did. A special thank you also goes to Dad’s care team at Heart N’ Home Hospice. Especially to Tommy & Trina.

Dad was an excellent provider, and he loved his family very much, and he loved his little dog Chi Chi. We will all miss him greatly.

There will be no services. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to an organization of your choice, but we all know what Dad would have said; “Save your money!”

Dad’s very favorite song was The Big Rock Candy Mountains; we grew up listening to it and he still liked to play it for anyone who would listen. This is for you, Dad: In the Big Rock Candy Mountains, There ain’t no short-handled shovels, No axes, saws, nor picks, I’m bound to stay, Where you sleep all day, Where they hung the jerk, that invented work , I’ll see you all, this coming Fall, in The Big Rock Candy Mountains.

We love you Dad, Rest in Peace.

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