Golden Eagle Founder Mabee Dies of Stroke Complications

John C. Mabee, 80, founder of Golden Eagle Insurance Company, died on Wednesday, April 24. Mabee’s death resulted from complications related to a stroke he suffered earlier in the week, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

Mabee established Golden Eagle Insurance Co. in 1984, which grew to be the third-largest workers’ compensation carrier in California. The Mabee’s sold the business in 1997.

Mabee was born in Seymour, Iowa, and settled in San Diego in 1943. He bought a mom-and-pop grocery store for a mere $2,000, which later evolved into the Big Bear chain with over 30 stores. The chain was sold in 1991.

Mabee was perhaps best known as the owner of Golden Eagle Farms, and a founder of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. The Mabee’s were renowned by being named California’s leading breeders 10 times since 1990.

He is survived by his wife Betty, and son, Larry, three grandchildren, as well as sisters Leatha and Ilaf.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be sent to the Aseltine School, 4027 Normal St., San Diego, Calif. 92130.