Daniel M. “Dan” Russell, a cattleman and heir of a historic Folsom family ranching and rodeo livestock operation, has died of a heart attack at 61.
He died Dec. 29 at his home near Henryetta, Okla., where he moved in 2002 and supplied bucking animals for major rodeos throughout the United States, said his brother-in-law Ralph Pavey.
Mr. Russell owned and operated Western Rodeos Inc., renowned as one of the top rodeo companies in the country for its tough stock. Three of his bulls – Pacific Bell, Trick or Treat, and Grasshopper – won the bucking bull of the year award a total of five times from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Mr. Russell’s family began cattle ranching in the Folsom area just after the Civil War. He was the son of the late Dan H. Russell, who grew the family’s ranching business into one of the biggest cattle operations in the United States and helped build the rodeo arena named for him in Folsom.
Daniel Melvin Russell was born March 13, 1952, in Sacramento. He graduated from Folsom High School in 1970 and had two children with his first wife, Esther. The marriage ended in divorce.
Besides his wife, Linda, Mr. Russell is survived by his son Daniel and daughter Tanya. He also is survived by three sisters, Gail Phillips, Diane Russell-Pavey and Linda Catlett; and two grandchildren.
A celebration of life is set for 1 p.m. Feb. 1 at Orangevale Grange Hall No. 354, 5807 Walnut Ave., Orangevale.
Call The Bee’s Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Davila.