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Douglas Magnon

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Douglas Magnon Obituary
DOUGLAS MAGNON of Riverside, California, 55, passed away Wednesday, February 4, 2015, surrounded by family and close friends, after a short but brave battle with cancer. Magnon, who was part of the Magnon Companies with his father Ray and sister Deanna, was a regional commercial real estate developer. Doug was also a founder and principal of the Riverside International Automotive Museum (RIAM). Doug was owner of Magnone Trattoria and a partner in a Newport Italian motorcycle dealership and a trustee board member of the University of California Riverside. Doug was a man of many passions. He loved food, cooking and Italian culture, which twice led to ventures into the restaurant business. Magnone Trattoria continues to serve Doug's own recipes on Spruce Street in Riverside where he was frequently found in the kitchen preparing dishes. It was his passion for motor racing, and growing up attending races at the legendary Riverside International Raceway that led to the founding of the Riverside International Automotive Museum with his father. Many Southern California racing fans lamented the demise of the famed circuit in 1988. The museum was established from that memory and received immediate support from the greater racing community. Gala events such as "Legends of Riverside" gave fans the opportunity to rub shoulders with racing greats including Dan Gurney, Bobby Unser, Carroll Shelby and Bob Bondurant and relive moments that made Southern California one of the hubs of racing culture. RIAM has grown to be one of the most important racing collections in North America. The curated collection of cars includes several important Dan Gurney Eagle Indy Cars and the world's largest vertical collection of Maserati's. RIAM regularly participated in historic racing events claiming four national Formula 5000 championships with driver Tony "a2z" Adamowicz and chief mechanic Bill Losee. The racing community has truly lost one of its greatest stewards of history. Doug co-founded Newport Italian, a Vespa, Moto Guzzi and Aprilla motorcycle dealership in 2013. Almost immediately, the dealership has become one of the most successful stores for those brands in the United States. Beyond his accomplishments, Doug touched many lives with his generous heart and love of people. Many have come forward with stories of his kindness and camaraderie.His passions, natural charm and zest for life made him special to everyone he met. His legacy will live on in the hearts of those who knew him, and his business and philanthropic ventures. Magnon was a graduate of Riverside Polytechnic High School in 1978 and a former film student at University of Southern California (USC). Doug is survived by his wife, Evonne Magnon (Barsakis); his father Raymond Magnon (Kelly); his mother Elaine Taber (Clare); his sisters Deanna Magnon Wagner (Dennis), Cheryl Cliff (Paul) and Patti Oldham (Tom); brother Ryan Magnon (Rona) and, his many loving nieces and nephews. A celebration of Doug's life is planned at the Riverside International Automotive Museum on Sunday, February 15, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. The Magnon family requests charitable donations to the Riverside International Automotive Museum or the in lieu of flowers.

Published in Press-Enterprise on Feb. 11, 2015
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