Corvallis – Russell Stuart Zacha, 81 of Corvallis, MT passed on Sunday, August 30, 2020 from a head injury sustained from trying to help a cranky cow give birth. He was born December 26, 1939 in Missoula, MT to John and Charlotte Zacha.
He was raised on the family farm northeast of Corvallis along with his brother and sister. At a very young age he fell in love with the ranch life. He never did lose his love for planting crops, buying new farm machinery, and taking care of his animals.
He graduated from Corvallis High School, then joined the Army National Guard and served eight years. In April of 1961, he married Bonnie Del Taulman, together they raised their daughter and son on the family farm. Together he and Bonnie traveled all over the world demonstrating their patented sponge brush that Bonnie used in the ceramic industry. He was not just a country boy, he cleaned up well and could be found selling their wares wearing a western business suit at the big shows across the country. He was an optimist and a man of his word. He had a firm handshake that sealed the deal with cattle buyers and top of the line brush manufactures and distributors in the country. Their Bon-Del Company was a family owned and operated wholesale manufacturing company and was situated right on their ranch in Corvallis. His real love, though, was farming and ranching. He bought the ranch from his parents who bought it from their parents to continue the Zacha family farm. Some years were good and some bad, but he was always willing to try something new to keep the ranch going, from dairy operation to Holstein replacement heifers.
Russell was a very strong hard-working man. Through the years he taught many young men and women how to work on a ranch. He was very proud of his family. All the kids and grandkids learned to drive out in the cow pasture. He was always very encouraging. There were no limits in his mind… with some hard work and ambition, we could achieve anything we set our minds to. He had a very soft heart for people in need, he was known to let them live on the ranch at no charge, just for a little help. Being the hardworking man that he was he did not give up easily. At 81, he was still trying his best to run the ranch and handle the nice herd of Angus cows that he, Alan and his dad built up together through the years. This spring he planted one of the best crops of grain the ranch has ever harvested. He loved machinery and antique tractors and history of the Bitterroot Valley, which led him to the Tired Iron group that he was part of. He made many wonderful friends throughout his life. His strong willed, witty personality will be greatly missed! He was the strength and backbone of the family. We are not sure how we are going to go on without him. But we can just see his big smile and him looking around in Heaven saying, WOW! Alan also inherited a love for the ranch life and plans to keep the ranch in operation, and that is what Dad would want.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Bonnie of Corvallis; daughter Edel (Pat) Howard of Hamilton; son Alan (Stacy) of Corvallis; grandchildren Warren Nelson, Travis Nelson, Seth Smith, Huck Pfeiffer, Garrett Zacha and Kara Walker; great grandchildren Mackenzie, Delanie, Brytten and Trinity; his brother Phil (Sharleen) Zacha; and those he considered his children, Mike Hellums (Jody) of Kansas, Heidi Ebsen of Corvallis.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Louise Zacha, and his grandson Michael Zacha.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020 at 1 p.m. on the family farm, 903 Birch Creek Loop, Corvallis, MT.