Don Stuart Mashbir, 77, died Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008. He appeared to have died peacefully in his sleep with his beloved cat, Niner, at his side.
Don was born Feb. 7, 1931, in Washington, D.C., the only child of Sidney Forrester Mashbir and Mary Irene (Donahue) Mashbir. Don attended the Landon School for Boys in Bethesda, Md. After graduating he "tried out" several colleges, eventually graduating in 1955 from Claremont Mens' College (now Claremont McKenna College) in Claremont, Calif. with a B.A. in Economics. After graduation, Don led an often precarious and always entertaining life: He worked as a firefighter in Alaska; he had a job spraying agent orange with the railroad to keep weeds and unwanted growth off the tracks; he traveled throughout South America " often hitch-hiking. He also trekked all over Europe where he met, in Spain, his lovely wife, Rosa Maria Perez de Ternero. They were married on Oct. 15, 1958 in Torremolinos, Malaga, Spain and were life-long companions for 38 years until Rosa's death on Aug. 14, 1996. Rosa will always be remembered by those who loved her as "the sweetest person you will ever know."
Don and Rosa lived in Rubicon Bay since August of 1967. Their beautiful home on the lake with Rosa's beautiful wildflowers was truly their "respite and nepenthe" and a slice of God's Paradise.
Don was a very popular, generous, out-spoken, sentimental, loving and unique character of the area, and well-known to many as: "Sierra Fats," the "mountain man," "Smash," "Red," "Rojo," and his self-proclaimed moniker, "The Hairy, Red, Drinking Machine."
An avid sports enthusiast and ardent 49ers fan, he received a letter of acknowledgment from the team for his record-setting attendance of 108 straight home games. His record was only broken by an impassable snow storm on I-80, much to his frustration and monumental sorrow. If you wanted to make a bet on a sporting event, you called Don. From lawn bowling to lacrosse and everything in between, Don had the odds.
Only once in a lifetime does such a special person come into one's life " we are all much happier (and he would say, much smarter!) for having known him. He will be terribly missed and lovingly remembered.
A recognition plaque will be placed for Don and Rosa in the new Heritage Plaza Park overlooking the lake in Tahoe City. Anyone wishing to donate to this memorial can call Rob or Martha Jamieson at (858) 755-4698. A list of those contributing will be recognized at Don and Rosa's memorial Mass and celebration of their lives on May 16, 2009. For more information regarding this event, call Rob or Martha Jamieson.