MARYSVILLE, CA – Dann C. Spear, 63 years old, a 40-year resident of Yuba County, passed away unexpectedly surrounded by family on February 22, 2018 following a short illness.

Dann was born to William C. “Doc” and Margie Spear in Ventura, California in 1954. He is survived by his wife Roberta, his two sons Carson and Brandon, his daughters-in-law Erin and Cotie, his mother, Margie Burnett and her husband John Burnett, his sister Darla Pumphrey (Wayne) and many other family members.

He grew up around horses and livestock, and worked at the family business at the Ojai Valley Inn Riding Stables and Matalija Ranch in his youth. He graduated from Nordhoff High School in 1972, and while attending Cal Poly S.L.O. he competed in college rodeo and went on to compete successfully in Professional Rodeo in the Team Roping event.

He married the love of his life Roberta Eskew Spear in 1974. After attending Cal Poly they moved back to Ojai where Dann began working in the construction industry. After two years they realized their dream of owning a small ranch and moved to Marysville, Calif., where Dann continued to compete in Professional Rodeo and continued his construction career. Dann worked in the Public Works Department of Sutter County for 30 years where he loved helping the people of Sutter County. Dann also had a strong faith and love for the Lord in a quiet way and always treated people like family. He was known for being fair, honest, kind and had an amazing sense of humor with a smile on his face. 

Dann and Roberta had two sons, Carson (Ceder) and Brandon Spear. As a family they were involved in 4-H, little league, and High School Rodeo. Dann’s son Carson (Ceder) grew up to become a Captain in the Army and Iraq War veteran and now is an Executive for Target, and Brandon is a Sergeant in the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department and both boys absolutely loved roping with their Dad! Dann dearly loved his daughters-in-law: Erin who is an Estate Planning Attorney at Guth & Changaris and Cotie, who is the Nursing Administrator for Yuba County Corrections.

While raising his family, Dann founded the Museum of the Forgotten Warriors in 1983. Dann’s collection and passion for telling veterans’ stories continued to grow each year into what the museum is today. If you have not yet visited the museum take a look at the website: or stop by any Saturday from 10am-3pm, or call (530) 742-3090 to arrange a private tour, and admission is always free. Dann always said the Museum is not about war, it’s about people, and he was interested in everyone’s story.

If you are reading this in the Ropers Sports News you knew Dann as a great guy and a tough roper. He loved winning buckles more than winning money and always was up for one more pot. In 1975 Dann and Roberta spent their honeymoon going to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the IPRA finals and stayed in a motel for $32 a week. He also made the Finals the next year and continued to compete in rodeos and ropings throughout his life. He was a friend and mentor to all and he especially enjoyed helping many kids over the years learn how to rope and improve their rodeo skills. As I type this, even now I am amazed looking up at how many buckles and saddles and bits and headstalls and breast collars and rope bags, etc., that Dad won. I roped with many heelers over the years but I always won the most with my Dad heeling for me. We will miss him always but he lived life to the fullest and had no regrets about anything! 

There will be a celebration of his life on March 17, 2018 at 10am at Yuba College, 2088 N. Beale Road, Marysville, Calif., 95901, followed by food and memories at the Museum/Spear home.