From a very early age, he worked on the Lower and Upper Ranches in Montezuma Canyon. The Lower Ranch was what is now the Richard Perkin’s Ranch and the Upper Ranch was his mother’s homestead, 20 or so miles up the creek.
After Max’s father died, he and his brother Melvin purchased the ranch from their mother. Several years later Max bought Melvin’s part.
Max met and married Nell Marie Wight from Missouri in the summer of 1941. To this union were born five children; Yancy Lee; Georgia Nell, Virginia Marie, Carol Ina and Wm. Monte.
Max was instrumental in starting cross bred cattle in this area. He endured the scoffing and lower (per lb.) prices until cross breeding came into its own. Max bought and traded for more land in the Canyon and drilled wells to help with the Montezuma Creek water supply to which the ranch held first water right.
He was a master tracker in the cattle business and could cut sign and find strays with the best of them. His brand was the wagon rod.
Max was one of the original directors of the Dove Creek State Bank, a position which he held for many years. He served on the Monticello Town Council for one term. He was president of the Blue Mountain Irrigation Co. for 25 years and also served as Chairman of the Blue Mountain Distribution System.
Max was blessed with 23 grandchildren, all of whom he dearly loved. At the age of five, each one was given a branded heifer calf. They received a yearly interest and the proceeds when they were ready for college or marriage. The grandkids all returned his love and showed him so in many ways.
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Funeral Services were held at the Monticello 4th Ward Chapel on June 26. Officiating was Bishop Derryl Jack. All of the pre-service arrangements were taken care of by the San Juan Mortuary. Family prayer was given by son Yancy Dalton. The congregation sang “Rock of Ages” and the invocation was offered by grandson Travis Forrest.
His life history was given by grandson Charley Tracy. Lynda Boyle sang “Let the Rest of the World Go By” accompanied by Denise Frost on the guitar.
Grandson Troy Forrest gave a talk about his granddad. Some of his granddaughters sang “Daddy’s Hands” followed by a poem written and given by a friend Eva Johnson.
There were then a few remarks by Bishop Jack. The closing song was “Oh My Father” by the congregation and grandson Tyler Forrest gave the benediction.
Organist was Merna Johnson and Lorelei Andrews accompanied the granddaughters at the piano with “Daddy’s Hands.” Aleta Dalton was chorister for the hymns. Interment was at the Verdure Cemetery. Graveside services started with an opening prayer by grandson Chesley Tracy followed by recordings of songs “I Did It My Way” and “Riding Down the Canyon”. Son Monte Dalton dedicated the grave.
Pallbearers were sons Yancy Dalton and Monte Dalton; sons-in-law Boyd Rasmussen, Guy Tracy and Jimmie Forrest; and grandsons Dalton Rasmussen, Marty Rasmussen and Chad Tracy.
Honorary pallbearers were grandsons Terrill Dalton, Dillon Dalton, Sean Dalton, Chesley Tracy, Mark Robinson, Preston Grover, Dennis Gardner, Brandon Ipson, Branden Dalton, Kerry Mortensen, Alan Rasmussen and Phillip Hughes.
Surviving Max are his wife Nell, all of his children and their spouses, 23 grand children, 46 great grand children and one great great granddaughter, with numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death are his parents, brother Melvin Dalton, five sisters, Ora and Edna Dalton (as infants); Betty D. Mason; Una D. Black; Hilda D. Smith; half brothers Floyd Dalton and Wm. Dalton; half sisters Edith D. Richmond; Emma D. Swanmeyer, and Ethel D. Lancaster. Also several nieces and nephews.
Card of thanks
The family of Max wish to thank all for their kind expressions of sympathy and their help during the long illness and death of our husband, father and grandfather. We especially would like to thank the San Juan Hospital doctors and nursing staff: The Home Health Care and hospice nurses and aides; The Relief Society ladies and everyone who sent food, cards and letters at this time of sorrow.
Yancy & Diana Dalton
Georgia & Boyd Rasmussen
Ginger & Guy Tracy
Carol & Jimmie Forrest
Monte & Deana Dalton
& their families
by Nell Dalton
In the depth of my despair I cried
“I can’t live without my man”
But I look at his beautiful pine trees
And the branches say “You Can”
Feeling so sad and lonely, I cried
“I can’t make it without my man”
But looked up to our beautiful mountain
And the horsehead said “You Can”
I prayed to our Heavenly Father
“Can I live without my man?”
Then I looked at our wonderful family
And the Father said “You Can”!