Nelo Mori was born on Feb. 22, 1924, in Fornovalasco, Italy, to Sam and Iolanda Mori.
He passed away on Oct. 30, 2023, at the Mori Ranch, surrounded by his family, four months short of his 100th birthday.
He came to the Unites States by way of Italy in 1938 at the age of 14, already an American citizen when he reached U.S. soil.
He and his brother, Pete, achieved their citizenship due to the fact their grandfather, Pete, had come to the U.S. in 1876, and their father, Sam, made the trip in 1903 to attain citizenship.
Nelo, along with his brother, Pete, took a train from New York City to Hazen, Nevada.
Nelo made his home in Fallon until 1958, aside from the time he proudly served our country from 1946 through 1948 as a squad leader for the United States Army.
He and his wife, Ida May Vieira, were married in 1956 and moved to Jack Creek in March of 1958 with sons Sam and Pete, purchasing the Mori Ranch. Daughter Linda was born in Elko in 1961.
Nelo and Ida May purchased another ranch in 1979, moving to Lovelock, operating the alfalfa fields and feedlot operations ever since.
They have split their time between their Lovelock and Elko County operations until the time of his passing.
In 1993, Nelo was elected to the Hall of Fame of the Soil Conservation Service — named the Conservationist of the Year in both Elko and Pershing Counties.
He served on the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association board of directors for 20 years, receiving the President’s Award in 1997, the 100,000 Mile Award in 2012 and was inducted into the Hall of Honor in 2019.
Nelo was named the Grand Marshal of the 2015 Silver State Stampede, and the Western States Ranch Rodeo Association created the Nelo Mori Heritage in Ranching Award in 2017 — honoring him as the first recipient.
He was on the board of directors for the Production Credit Association, now known as American Ag Credit, and their office in Elko now bears his name — commemorating his years of service.
He served two terms on the N-1 grazing board.
Nelo qualified for the finals of the branding competition of the Elko County Fair for 14 years in a row — winning the event four times. Nelo’s final branding victory came in 1989 at age 65 with family members.
He was an avid outdoorsman and loved hunting and fishing near the Jack Creek Ranch.
He loved rodeo, good horses and cattle but none of those things mattered to him as much as his family, his faith in God and his American citizenship.
He was preceded in death by his father, Sam; mother, Iolanda; brother, Pete; and infant son, Robert.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ida May; his brother, Vito, of Fornovalasco, Italy; sons Sam (Tracy) and Pete (Tammy); daughter Linda (Wes); five grandchildren Michael (Madison), Anthony (Katie), Andrea (Chad), Quinn (Taylore) and Jes and six great-grandchildren. There are numerous cousins, nieces and nephews who will remember him fondly.
Per his request, a private family service will be held at the Mori Ranch. Donations may be sent in his memory to the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association.
Nelo said, “I have achieved the American dream, not because I am terribly rich or have tremendous amounts of cattle or land. I am rich because of my family. My sons, daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren are really good cowboys, good ropers and upstanding citizens.”