Steve Naillon, 1960-2023
Stephen (Steve) Charles Naillon was born in the O’Connor Hospital on June 10, 1960, in San Jose, California to George and Janet Naillon. He passed away on February 9, 2023, at the age of 62 after a long battle with colon cancer. Steve lived most of his childhood in the Bay Area before moving to Auburn, California in 1970. He landed his first job at the age of 15 working for Nate Hilmick of Meadow Vista doing underground construction. Steve attended school, played football, rode horses, and eventually graduated from Placer High School.
Living off Mount Vernon Road in Auburn across the street from the Semas Ranch is where Steve’s love of horses and roping began. Stanley and Sandra Semas, along with their children, took Steve under their wings and flourished his talent for roping. He participated in junior rodeos, high school rodeos, and local ropings, as a heeler with his best friend, Mike Flanigan. Being an avid roper eventually landed him at the 1988 Bob Feist Invitational with Mike Brewer, one of his proudest career moments. Steve traveled all over to ropings and rodeos, upon meeting his first wife, Leslie Tonelli in 1989, and became a stepfather to her son Grant. They were married, lived in Greenwood, California and soon after came the twins, Logan and Cole, in 1990.
Raising three boys, Steve became very active in the community with baseball, junior rodeos, and high school rodeos. Steve served as the President of the California High School Rodeo Association District 3 from 2006 to 2008. He worked for multiple construction companies, before starting his own house flipping business. Steve later worked as the grounds manager for Auburn Lake Trails. Steve began dating the love of his life, Jackie Martain, in 2011 and were recently married in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in November of 2022. They resided in their dream home in Pilot Hill where they enjoyed yard work, coin collecting, traveling to see family and to Cabo, Mexico quite often. It was their dream to own a ranch in New Mexico one day.
Steve’s greatest accomplishment of all were his boys. He said success to him was seeing how his boys turned out and the lives they’ve created are turning out. He served as a role model to all 3 of his boys by living by these three things: smile, be honest and be happy. He said if he can’t make tomorrow better for himself, he hoped he could make it better for someone else.
Steve is survived by his siblings, Tom Naillon of Prineville, Oregon, Lynda (Jack) Dougherty of Auburn, Joan Cass of Texas; his wife Jackie Naillon of Pilot Hill; three sons Grant (Chelsi) Tonelli of Placerville, Logan (Sara) Naillon of Chowchilla, and Cole Naillon of Whitesboro, Texas; three stepchildren; Derek (Kylie) Martain of Exeter, Kayla Martain of Pilot Hill, and Madison Martain of Pilot Hill; grandson Rowly Naillon; and step grandchildren Tinley and Willow Martain.
Steve has touched so many lives throughout the community; he will be greatly missed by all. There will be a Celebration of Life at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the Semas Ranch (10940 Mount Vernon Road, Auburn, California 95603). Services have been entrusted to the Lassila Funeral Chapel in Auburn, California. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in memory of Steve Naillon to the California High School Rodeo Association District 3, please contact Sara Naillon.