John M. “Mitch” Lasgoity passed away on June 26, 2019 surrounded by family. Mitch was born on April 11, 1930 in Madera to Jean Lasgoity and Jennie Ospital Lasgoity and has made his home here ever since. Mitch was raised on the family 40 acre ranch south of the town of Madera with his parents, maternal grandmother and two bachelor uncles who spoke to him in Basque. Thus, he grew up bi-lingual with two mother-tongues. Under the tutelage of his parents and uncles, Mitch learned and never lost his love for farming and animal husbandry.
Mitch attended Alpha School, Madera High School and Santa Clara University from which he graduated with a degree in business in 1952. Upon graduation, he became partners with his father in their sheep business and took over the farming of their 40 acres. Eventually, Mitch bought the sheep from his father and became self-employed at the age of 27. He married Rosemary Mastrofini in 1957 and together they expanded their farming interests, grew their sheep business and began to run cattle in Madera County. Through his commitment to work, his intelligence and curiosity, Mitch developed and enjoyed many close relationships and had many friends.
Mitch was a member of St. Joachim’s Catholic Church, Knight’s of Columbus, Rotary, Fresno Basque Club and Rancheros Visitadores. He served as Camp Captain of Campo Seco and as a Board Director for Rancheros Visitadores. Mitch was honored as Madera County Cattleman of the Year in 2006 and Senior Farmer of the Year in 2017.
Mitch was preceded in death by his parents, Jean and Jennie Lasgoity.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Rosemary and his children, daughter Michele Lasgoity and husband, Mark Peters, daughter Monica Lasgoity and husband, Jeff LeFors, son John E. Lasgoity and wife, Alyson, and son, James Lasgoity. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Christine and Eric Peters, Julia, Claire, Paul and Elise Lasgoity and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Roger and Laurel Mastrofini Belden.
Visitation will be on Thursday, July 4, 2019 from 4 PM to 6 PM at Jay Chapel with Recitation of the Rosary following at 6 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, July 5, 2019 at 11 AM at St. Joachim Catholic Church, interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery.
Donations in Mitch’s memory may be made to St. Joachim’s School, San Joaquin Memorial High School or the donor’s favorite charity.