IN MEMORY OF OUR DAD
Donald Lani was born April 13, 1929 to Albert and Lida Lani in Ely, NV. Dad passed at home Wednesday May 6, 2020. He spent his early childhood in Hamilton, NV. As a child he was known by Donnie and either Don or Donnie as an adult. Don is survived by his son, Donald F. Lani (Donna), (D-DebbieWhipple) of Lund, NV, Rue D. Lani (D-Tom Peacock) of Parker, CO, and Tanya K. Atkin (Rick) of Preston, NV and hisgrandchildren Cole, Court, Chase, Brooke, Lowry, KayLynn, Jason: his sisters, Delores Steward of Ely, NV, Eileen Boyce and Virginia Tobiasson of Logandale, Nevada: “His friends and cousins in Duckwater and Railroad Valley”. Numerous other nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, dad never met a stranger. Dad and mom did not want funerals or memorials, just wanted to be remembered as they lived by the ones they loved. Mom’s ashes are scattered in the places they loved and dad’s ashes are soon to join her.
Dad adored his grandparents; Luigi and Angela Lani and loved to tell of the time he spent with them. One of his earliest memories was standing on the bottom rung of grandpa’s crutch as he swung it along walking; and how both of his grandparents were like doctors to their family and employees, curing and preventing spread of various sicknesses throughout their people. As the very rambunctious middle child he was often allowed to spend time with his grandparents and an Indian friend of the family that took him hunting around Hamilton at a very early age. His early childhood was spent in Ely, Ruth, Spring Valley and Currant Creek. Dad was close to his big sister “Tootsie”; from the stories he told, she was his guardian angel for sure. Dad loved all his brothers and sisters and shared stories of all the good times as well as the wild and rambunctious times had by all throughout their childhood. Danny Halstead, his first cousin and best friend throughout their lifetimes throughtroubled and successful times. In adolescence they raced a buck board across the country by Bull Creek and when the horsed jumped a wash the buckboard was left in the wash, the horsesran home, and they went flying into the brush, they checked for injuries then dusted themselves off and walked home to their comeuppance! When dad was nine years old he tagged along with Danny who was taking some candy to a girl he was wooing that lived at the Rutherford place; while there, playing in the creek bank he saw and met for the first time the Fisher kids, Bobby, Patsy and DONA. Dad said he had never seen anyone with such a mass of beautiful bright red hair and when Bobby and Patsy were ready to leave mama would not go with them, “she just kept staring at me”. Dad knew from that moment she was the one for him. While life went on for both of them; when mama came back from school in Denver and told him she was ready to get married…he was too. Mom knew the wild ride she was in for and true to form after the ceremony he pulled her onto his homemade chariot of an axle led by a team and raced down the Main street in Ely. During 68 years of marriage and raising three rambunctious children of their own, they shared every moment, through the fights and the good times they loved being together.
In addition to Danny Halstead his best buddies were Frank Roberts and Stanley Sims, whether gathering pine nuts, hunting mustangs or searching for gold they had each other’s backs. Through some of these endeavors they got to be known by the federal government and FBI. In true form this turned into an asset and long relationship for dad. Dad was a deputy sheriff for Nye County for 20 years and always had his badge and gun in the glove compartment of whatever vehicle he was driving. Dad always answered the FBI call, whether it be an escaped felon or a lost plane crash, until in his late eighties he finally had to tell them no.
Dad was proud of his reputation of being a hard worker and knowing how to do anything that needed to be done. His parents and grandparents taught him by training, example and responsibility and he passed those traits on to his grateful children and grandchildren. Dad believed in working hard and playing hard and had as much fun as he could at both! Dad was always his own boss. After running a silver mine in the mountains of Mexico with uncle John Bardmess he received the Rutherford Ranch as partial payment and lived there until theysold to Vern & Flossy Cyr that owned Currant Creek and managed both ranches until they bought the Angleworm Ranch where they lived until they retired and bought the midwife’s house from Barbara Dennis in Preston, NV where they lived for the rest of their lives. He owned and worked mining property in Hamilton simultaneously with ranching. Throughout his life he was recruited by several employers to help them through rough patches and he always obliged when times permitted. He drove a hard bargain if his livelihood was tested and was proud to say they would often leave and
then come back and agree to his terms to get his services. He loved ranching and mining and whether he was hauling all the hay in Duckwater for the ranchers at age 18, or doing the “tricky” blasting jobs for Isabelle Construction, sinking mine shafts for himself or locating ore for mining companies he was making friends and enjoying life.
Dad was a good man, husband and father who believed in the beauty and bounty of nature. While he was not considered a wealthy man he was rich in family, friends and the joy of living and will be sorely missed by all that knew him.
Dad loved to tell stories and remembered the ones his parents told him and shared them also. We would love to have anyone that remembers dad’s stories or has one of their own to share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.