Frank Eugene “Lefty” Tosta, 87, of Gentry, Ark. died Saturday, Nov. 12 in Highfill, Ark.
He was born in Patterson, the son of John and Mary Lewis Tosta.
He lived his first 67 years in the Patterson, Modesto, and Hickman areas. In 1991, he moved with his wife to his new home and ranch in Arkansas. There, he quickly made new cowboy friends as he continued to rope and rodeo. He enjoyed having the cowboys spend hours roping at his ranch. Mr. Tosta was a winning calf roper. He was a member of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, PRCA, California Cowboys Association, National Old Timers Rodeo Association, and the Senior Pro Rodeo Association. He also worked with Charlton Heston in the 1958 MGM movie “The Big Country” and worked with Wilford Brimley as well.
In addition, he was a successful cattleman in California and Arkansas, and ran cattle in the Oakdale area. In California, he ran herds on pasture and in the mountains. He was a tough and rugged man and over the years had teeth and ribs broken during the course of rounding up or loading cattle, but finished the job first before getting healthcare.
He was a member of the Operating Engineers Local Union since 1963. He worked in heavy construction for more than 25 years, with many of his construction years in California employed as a foreman for George Reed, Inc.
He was part of the cowboy church movement and he loved the tradition of country gospel music. He loved his family, his horses, and he loved life. He spent his last years on his ranch surrounded by his loving family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, MariAnn; sons, Danny (Belma) Heitman of Louisiana, Fritz (Debbie) Tosta of Corona, Steve (Korinne) Tosta of Arkansas; daughters, Susie (Mike) Keckler of Hughson, Julee (Mike) Gilbert of New York; sister, Eva Borges of Los Banos; 16 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers John Tosta, Joe Tosta; and sisters, Mary Corn and Rosie Case.
Memorial services were held Nov. 18 at Gentry Cemetery, Gentry, Arkansas with Pastor Karly Roten officiating and Lee Reed offering the eulogy.
Wasson Funeral Home, Arkansas, handled arrangements.