See a list of the
contents for all pages on Page
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Jeri L. Dobrowski, obtain permission for reproduction rights
Harry Hanson, December 21, 2012.
Deepest condolences to Yvonne Hollenbeck
and her family on the death of her much-loved father,
From a Father's Day feature here
that Yvonne created about her father:
Yvonne has written about
her father, Harry Hanson, of Gordon, Nebraska,
a many-times National Champion Old Time Fiddler.
Harry Hanson's music is
featured on Yvonne Hollenbeck's CD,
My Home on the Range,
which was named the Academy of Western Artists' Best
Poetry CD in 2003. She wrote at the time:
He's won over 200
first place trophies at contests in the past and won
the National Championship at Weiser, Idaho, in 1967.
He was born in a sod house in a Norwegian settlement
in northern South Dakota (real near the North Dakota
border) where he was raised. He started
playing for house dances when he was 7 years old and
would stand on a chair because he was so small, and
from what I was told many times by older relatives
and neighbors, was as good or better than any of the
men fiddlers. He's the kindest, sweetest
person the sun ever shown on and we have had a
lifetime of fun together. He taught me to
chord with him when I was little (he says I was 4)
and we've spent many hours making music together.
Harry Hanson taking
Yvonne to school
Find more about Harry Hanson and and more photos
in the feature here.
Services will be held Thursday, December 27
at 2:00 PM at the Methodist Church in Gordon, Nebraska.
Posted 12/23. updated 12/25
James Allison "Jim" Ross, 1916-2012
From David Stanley:
Allison Ross of
Stevensville, Montana age 96. Jim and his brother Bob (who
survives) came to several of the early cowboy poetry
gatherings [in Elko] as Montana cowboy poets. Here's his
I regret to report the death of
classic of the Greatest Generation
The obituary tells that Jim Ross
died November 13, 2012, "...'Cowboy Jim' was born May
8, 1916, to Joseph Allison Ross and Elsie Catherine Hogan. He
was raised on a small dryland grain and stock ranch at the head
of Carter’s Coulee in the Bull Mountains of Musselshell County
Jim and Mary moved to their 'Sheep Camp' south of Stevensville,
where they enjoyed pursuing their many hobbies and traveling. In
1991, Jim was a Montana State Cowboy Poetry Representative at
the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nev., and was inducted into
the Montana Cowboy Poets Hall of Fame. He published three cowboy
Those books are
Get Down and Come In,
Pull Up a Chair,
and Saddle Up and R-i-i-i-de.
His work was also collected in
Riding the Northern Range: Poems from the Last Best-West,
Humorous Cowboy Poetry, A Knee Slappin' Gathering;Ten
Years' Gatherings; Montana Poems and Stories.
The obituary notes, "A
private memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu
of flowers, please send memorial donations to the the Bobcat
Club, Montana State Athletics, P.O. Box 173270 Bozeman, MT
59717-3270; Friends of Musselshell School Inc., Musselshell, MT
59059; or Hilda's Room at Community Medical Center, 2827 Fort
Missoula Road, Missoula, MT 59804."
Ann Hosford, 1920-2012
Deepest condolences to Idaho photographer and filmmaker
Betty K. Rodgers, whose mother,
Virginia Ann Hosford,
died December 17, 2012, at home in Placerville, California.
Betty says her mother was "a true woman of the West."
here in the
tells that Virginia Ann Hosford, "...embraced life, friends and
family with steadfast vigor and fierce loyalty. Music was an
essential part of her life, as she was a pianist and a vocalist.
She served in the Red Cross during World War II and always held
veterans close to her heart. She was a teller and a secretary, a
genealogist, a community activist and a passionate volunteer.
Virginia loved a high-spirited game of cards and was legendary
for her cheesecake and persimmon pudding..."
A celebration of her life was held November 24, 2012.
Donations in her memory can be made to Snowline Hospice or
her constant companion, KVIE Public Television. Please include
family contact information for acknowledgement.
Betty M. (Hornecker) Mathisen, 1928-2012
With great sadness, we learned of the death of
the mother of Wyoming poet, musician, and local historian
Jean Mathisen Haugen.
From the family:
Betty M. (Hornecker) Mathisen passed away at the age of
84 on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, at Lander, Wyoming.
Betty Hornecker Mathisen was born May 10, 1928 at the now
ghost town of Milford, Wyoming near Lander and grew up on
the ranch her grandfather homesteaded on Squaw Creek near
Lander. As a girl she was an avid horsewoman, broke horses
and worked with cattle with her father and 5 brothers. She
also had two sisters.
Betty married Bob Mathisen, a cowboy and newly returned
sailor from World War II, at the home ranch on June 4, 1946.
They had one daughter, Jean. Bob, Betty and Jean's Aunt Jean
Irvine attended many cowboy poetry gatherings in Wyoming,
Montana and Idaho.
Betty is survived by her daughter Jean Mathsien Haugen,
brother Don Hornecker of Lander, Wyoming and sister Marietta
Twitchell of Ft. Washakie, Wyoming; a grandson, Josh Haugen,
of Fairbanks, Alaska and two granddaughters, Alyssa and
Kaylee; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins and
Her family had lived in the Lander area for eight
generations and were among the first ranchers in the Lander
Valley in the early 1870s. Her brother, Don, still owns part
of the home ranch, dating from 1884. Betty was preceded in
death by her husband Bob, son-in-law Ronald Haugen, sister
Jean Hornecker Irvine and brothers Albert, Jack, Kenneth and
Ralph Hornecker and parents John and Mary (Doane) Hornecker
of Lander. She will be buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery next to
her husband and son-in-law.
In the picture above, Betty Hornecker Mathisen is on the
right with her late sister Jean Hornecker Irvine, in front of
the log cabin where they grew up on the Hornecker Ranch on Squaw
Creek near Lander, Wyoming.
Jean Mathisen Haugen has contributed many photos and stories
about her family through her poems, Picture the West, and
Western Memories. See some of those and find additional links
Patricia Jane Galt Gustafson (1927-2012)
Patricia Jane Galt Gustafson,
on October 26, 2012, in Conrad, Montana.
Sincere condolences to Wylie
Gustafson and all of his family on the death of his
here tells, "Patsy lived a long and illustrious life as
a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and community builder. She
was an avid and accomplished artist, golfer, skier,
horsewoman, and bridge player. Her life was devoted to her
family and extended family of friends and neighbors, and to
her husband and his veterinary and ranching
businesses.[....]Patsy married the Rapelje cowboy Raymond
Walter 'Rib' Gustafson in Great Falls on Thanksgiving Day,
Nov. 26, 1953...."
Her funeral is 11 a.m. Saturday, November 3, at St
Michael Catholic Church in Conrad.
The family requests that memorials be given to Pondera
Medical Center Bridge Fund or Conrad Library Foundation.
You can write to Wylie in care of Hi-Line Records, 527
Furlough Road, Conrad, MT, 59425.
[thanks to Stan Howe for the sad news; photo courtesy of
Martha Nelson (1916-2012)
October 21, 2012 in New Salem, North Dakota. Mother of
popular poet and rancher Rodney
Nelson, Martha Nelson was widely known and loved by her
community. She was an admired public speaker and reciter of
poetry. In a recent
Up Sims Creek
column, Rodney Nelson commented, "My Mom is 96 years old and
can still recite a ton of poems like, ‘The Village
Blacksmith,’ ‘Somebody’s Mother,’ or ‘The House with Nobody
Deep sympathy to the Nelson family on the death of
In an obituary
here, it tells that Martha and Farrel Nelson, "...
in 1951 moved to a ranch near Towner where they ranched and
raised their family. Martha continued to live on the ranch
after Farrel died in 1983...." and that she "...was well
known and loved across the state for the numerous
inspirational and humorous talks she gave. She enjoyed
reading, reciting poetry, baking bread, sewing, visiting
with friends and rodeos."
The obituary notes that she is survived by: her sons,
Orrin (Donna) Nelson, of Towner, and Rodney (Teri) Nelson,
of Almont; daughters, Genevieve (John) Skogberg, of Belle
Fourche, S.D., and Julie (Charles) Cannon, of Minot;
grandchildren, Cody, Todd, Chris, Neal, Paul, Lafe, Cari,
Susan, Marybeth, and Annika; great-grandchildren, Katy,
Riggin, Bridger, Dori, Abby, Mataya, Claire, Karly, Benjamin
and Haakon; sisters, Dora Birkeland, of Sherwood, Ore.,
Venoie Amey, of Lancaster, Ohio, and Metta McDowell, of New
Rockford; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and
Funeral Services were held October 26, 2012,
at Zion Lutheran Church in Towner.
Her granddaughter Annika G. Plummer kindly shared this
photograph. She told us that she took it "on August 11,
2012, the day she met her new great-grandson
Rodney Nelson's October 31, 2012 Up Sims Creek
column is a warm tribute to his mother. Read it
You can write to Rodney Nelson and his family at 4905
44th St., Almont, ND 58520.
[photograph courtesy of Annika G. Plummer,
Fitzgerald, died October 7, 2012
Carol Jordan Fitzgerald
of Van Horn, Texas, who died Monday, October 7, 2012, after
an auto accident. Carol Jordan Fitzgerald, 75, was married
to popular cowboy and poet Ray Fitzgerald and often joined
him at gatherings. Find a news article
Deepest condolences to the family of
Thanks to Linda Kirkpatrick and Doris Daley for
Details about services will be posted as they become
October 4, 2012. Lisa—warm, cheerful, and always full of fun
We learned, with the deepest sadness, of the death of
a part of the Monterey Cowboy
Poetry and Music Gathering since its inception. She was
married to Mick Vernon, who served for several years as the
Artistic Director of the event. They were both recognized by
the gathering in 2009 for their contributions to its
Lisa and Mick had recently moved to Hawaii.
Find an obituary
A memorial service will be held in Pacific Grove,
California, on Saturday, October 27, 2012, at noon, at St.
Angela Merici Catholic Church, 9th & Lighthouse.
Thanks to Dixie Dixon, Gary Brown, and Susan Parker for
You can email Mick Vernon: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[2005 photo of Lisa Vernon from the Salinas Cowboy Poetry
Roy "Bud" Strom,
July 28, 2012. Bud Strom, 80, was a popular Arizona rancher,
poet, retired Army Brigadier General, and co-founder of the
Cochise Cowboy Poetry
& Music Gathering. His death was reported by the
With great sadness, we learned of the death of
Sierra Vista Herald
in an article
Steve Conroy, his friend and
Cochise gathering co-chair, let many friends know that
Bud had been working at his
ranch all day
before suffering a massive stroke on July 25.
Bud Strom was instrumental in the development of the
Cochise gathering's programs for young people. Two 2010
videos include interviews with him about the programs. One
includes his recitation of his poem, "Race
on the Wind." Find them
The author of two collections of cowboy poetry, Bud Strom
was a popular performer at Western gatherings. Find a
biography and some of his poetry in our feature about him
Bud Strom and his wife Joan were married for 57 years.
From Steve Conroy:
The Services for BG (Ret) Roy “Bud” Strom will be
held on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 10:00 AM at the Ft
Huachuca Post Chapel. If you come, give yourself 15
minutes to clear the gate (you will need driver’s
license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance).
Joan has asked that any donations be sent to either:
St Stephen’s Episcopal Church Building Fund
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
Horse ‘n Around Rescue Ranch
PO Box 698
Hereford, AZ 85615
Peggy Malone sent her
The day we honored cowboys,
on the 28th of July
Respectfully paid tribute
To show our Cowboy
This very day in heaven
It seems there
was a need
To have a special cowboy
Bud took the lead..
'Cuz God needed a Top Hand
Who ranked among the best
I bet that's why he
He surely passed the test
Heaven's Gate swung open
The Angels showed the way
Yes, Bud you had the honor
To enter on this day
Nona Kelly Carver sent her
His chaps hang there limp in the tack room.
spur chains will jingle no more.
His worn hands lay
silent and folded.
His boots sit alone by the door.
The Angel of Death came and called him
where he’d never been.
We will at some point go to
We don’t know just quite how or when.
Bud served his country with honor.
on him could depend.
He trained and he taught men
to be brave and to fight to the end.
His life has set forth an example
For those who
would ranch in the west.
He showed love for those who
worked with him.
He truly was one of the best.
His family was always important.
scatter out far and wide.
He gave from his heart to
those near him,
with his faithful wife Joan by his
His poetry spoke of devotion
To a way of
life he came to love.
He spent long, hard days in the
was ready when push came to shove.
friendships were deep and long lasting.
of him will not cease.
We treasure the time he spent
And pray his soul now rests in peace.
news video about Bud Strom with footage from the memorial
Via Andy Nelson and others:
The Western world is
saddened to learn of the death of Paula Wright,
popular long-time owner of Elko, Nevada's
J. M. Capriola
The company's web site
tells that the business was owned by Paula Wright's parents,
ranchers Paul and Betty Bear, since 1958, and handed down to
their children, eventually being owned by Paula and her
husband, Doug Wright, since 1985. The site comments
shop has continued to grow over the years but its mission
has remained the same—to provide the best quality gear for
the people who really use it. Over the years, J.M. Capriola
Co. has also become something of a central information
center for Nevada's ranchers and working cowboys."
Showcase includes an interview with Paula Wright.
Find an article
here in the Elko Daily Free Press. An employee
comments, “It’s just a shock to the community—the ripples
are amazing. She knows everyone and is a friend to
everyone...She was so community-minded. She knew what needed
to be done to accomplish things. The community will miss
A later article appears
here in the Elko Daily Free Press.
are many condolences posted on the
J.M. Capriola Facebook page.
There is an obituary
here, which states:
Funeral services will
be Friday, June 29 at 10 a.m. at Elko Convention Center.
In lieu of flowers, donation may be made to Silver
State Stampede Centennial Event, J.M. Capriola Co. 500
Commercial Street, Elko, NV or any other charity of
Via Ron Wilson:
Veteran radio announcer,
producer, and host Jim Packard,
well known for his part in Wisconsin Public Radio's popular
Whad'Ya Know? program, died Monday, June 18, 2012.
There are many articles
about the popular radio personality, including one
here by Duane Dudek at JS Online, which tells
about his career and comments, "Packard also wrote cowboy
poetry, and his works have been published on
CowboyPoetry.com. In his biography on the site, Packard
wrote: 'My daddy was born in Coffee Creek, Montana, so I've
always been partial to the West. My grandpa was a ranch
foreman and grandma was the cook.'"
Jim Packard was among the
first poets at CowboyPoetry.com. Find some of his poetry
Bob Edgar 1939-2012
Bob Edgar, a
Wyoming-born historian, archaeologist, artist, author,
naturalist and conservationist died April 20, 2012. A
resident of Cody, Wyoming, Edgar founded the
Old Trail Town Museum
which preserved a good many buildings from the historic
Pitchfork Ranch. In 1974, the remains of John "Liver
Eatin'" Johnston were re interred there, along with
those of several other notable frontiersmen.
Edgar penned the
Cowboy Dreams: Cowboy Nostalgia, Photographs from the
Range, published in 1996 and edited by
Richard Collins. It was reprinted in 2005 as
The American Cowboy: A
Photographic History. The books contain a
wide-ranging collection of images from such frontier
photographers as Belden, Huffman, Koerner, Smith, and
Find an extensive obituary
in the Powell Tribune
in the Billings Gazette.
Rolland "Rollie" Block
Condolences to Minnesota rancher and poet Diane Tribitt on the
death of her father, Rolland "Rollie Block, April 2, 2012.
From the announcement and obituary:
Michael Block was born on November 19, 1926 in Buckman
Township, Morrison County, Minnesota to the late Herman
H. and Angeline T. (Merkling) Block where he grew up on
the family farm. He was united in marriage to Lea M.
Rauch on June 12, 1950 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church
in Pierz. The couple farmed for seven years and then
moved to Babbitt, MN where Rollie worked in the taconite
mines for three years.He then went to East Grand Forks
where he owned and operated a gas station for two years.
He then took a job with Markfort Construction in St.
Paul, MN, where he worked as a mason for 18 years. He
later started his own business, Rollie Block Masonry
until his retirement. Rollie enjoyed auctions, hunting,
fishing, raising Labrador Retrievers, planting pine
trees and helping on the farms. One of Rollie's greatest
interests was promoting and helping build the softball
fields in Genola. He was a member of St. Joseph's
Catholic Church in Pierz.
Rollie is survived by
his wife, Lea Block of Pierz, MN, children, Sharon
(Robert) Streasick of Alexandria, MN, Nita (Doug) Hayes
of Maple Grove, MN, Denise (Joe) Brenteson of Zimmerman,
MN, Carol Block (Mark Piasecki) of Forest Lake,
MN, Diane Tribitt (Sam Scott) of Hillman, MN, Lisa
(Marne) Gall of Pierz, MN, Sandy (Dan) Meyer of Hillman,
MN; foreign exchange daughter, Sandra Mara (Gutenberg)
Brasil of Vitoria, Brazil; siblings, Verena Otremba of
Pierz, MN and Elaine Grittner of Pierz, MN; 23
grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.
was preceded in death by his parents, Herman H. and
Angeline Block; daughters, Marie Block, Sheila Block,
Annette Block; brother, Donald Block and
great-granddaughter, Nevaeh Kloss.
Mass of Christian Burial
will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at
St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Pierz, MN, with Fr.
Gerald Dalseth officiating. Interment will be in
the parish cemetery.
Visitation will be held
from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Monday, April 9, 2012 at
Emblom-Brenny Funeral Service in Pierz, MN with a Rosary
at 4:30 p.m. followed by parish prayers at 7:00 p.m.
Visitation will continue on Tuesday at the funeral
home from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Find the obituary and a guest book
Gordon Stovall, 1937-2012
the deepest sadness, we have learned of the death of
popular singer (Georgia's Official Balladeer),
songwriter, radio host, poet, and Entertainment and Sponsorship
Manager for the
Western Art Museum. He died in an auto accident on
Wednesday, March 21.
Doc was the
organizer of the Booth Museum's two annual cowboy gatherings and
was an important force in their educational outreach.
From a March 21st Booth Museum media
It is with great sadness Booth
Western Art Museum shares the news of the sudden passing of
Entertainment & Sponsorship Manager Doc Stovall.
Executive Director Seth Hopkins states, "Booth Western Art
Museum is so sorry to have lost our long-time friend and
employee, Doc Stovall, in a tragic accident this morning. He
will be sorely missed."
A native Virginian, Doc was
well known as a Western singer and cowboy poet throughout
America, having performed in twenty-five of the fifty
states. Honored in 2002 as Georgia's Official Cowboy
Balladeer by the Georgia State Legislature, he entertained
audiences both young and old as he strived to keep alive the
history of the West in music and song. In November of 2004,
Doc was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of
Fame, the first cowboy singer so honored, and in October of
2009 he received the Cowboy Keeper Award from the National
Day of the Cowboy Association for his contributions to the
preservation of Western heritage and cowboy culture. He had
been employed as the Entertainment and Sponsorship Manager
for Booth Western Art Museum since 2004.
Hopkins, "We are appreciative of the condolences and kind
words received throughout the day. We will let people know
of arrangements as they become available.
Mike McLean (McLeanPhoto.com)
was working with Doc Stovall
on an album project. He commented on the image below, "He
was a special man who touched so many lives. Of all the
images I shot last year this was the one we all agreed
captured his spirit most."
also shared additional images:
Stovall with friend and performing partner Jerry Warren, above
Find a March 24, 2012 news article from
the Atlanta Constitution
Doc Stovall has several recordings and
was working on a book of his cowboy poetry and an album.
See Doc Stovall and his Tumbleweed Band in a video
Find some of his poetry and lyrics in our
Services information, received from the
Booth Western Art Museum: Family visitation will be Saturday
from 5-8 pm, and his funeral will be Sunday, March 25, at 2 pm.
The funeral home is Whitley-Garner at Rosehaven, 8640 Rose
Avenue, Douglasville, GA 30134 - ph# 770-942-4246.
Find more, including a guest book at the
funeral home web site,
Doc Stovall is
survived by his wife, Margaret, two sons,
two daughters, two brothers, and 15
UPDATE APRIL 6:
There is to be a memorial tribute, as
announced by the Booth Western Art
Western Art Museum will honor the life,
spirit and legacy of the late Doc
Stovall with a Tribute Concert on
Saturday, April 21. The event will
celebrate the influence Stovall had in
preserving the cowboy culture, and will
include performances by members of his
band, The Tumbleweed Cowboy Band,
several people reciting cowboy poetry,
and gun tricks and humor by Emcee Jim
Dunham, who also serves as the Booths
Director of Special Projects.
Stovall was very influential in passing
along the love and interest in cowboy
music - and especially cowboy poetry,`
said Booth Museum Executive Director
Seth Hopkins. This Tribute Concert is
meant to honor him and the legacy he has
left and also to allow those he
influenced to share some of Doc`s
favorite cowboy music and poetry. It
will be an uplifting event, and we
invite everyone interested in honoring
his life to attend.
Free and open
to the public, Doc Stovall Remembered:
The Tribute Concert, will be held in the
Booth Ballroom beginning at 2:00 pm on
For more information
about Doc Stovall Remembered: The
Tribute Concert, please contact Jim
Dunham at 770-607-6362
[photo at top by
Cowboy Poetry Gathering. He also performed at the 2012 National
Cowboy Poetry Gathering this February, to large and appreciative
age 102, on March 11, 2012. His friend, Colorado rancher
and poet Terry Nash, shared the news. Clarence Carnal's brother
and his wife were neighbors of Terry
Nash and Terry says they and Clarence often shared stories,
"most of 'em true."
We were sad to learn of the death of Colorado
Terry Nash will speak at the
Known particularly for his
colorful renditions of long classic pieces, he was a
regular performer at the
Find eight videos of his
recitations, including the "The Zebra Dun,"
here on YouTube.
here tells, "A
memorial service in celebration of his long and wonderful life
will be noon, Friday, March 16, at Callahan-Edfast Mortuary. A
reception will follow. (Location will be announced.) Memorial
contributions may be made to: The Museum of Western Colorado,
Attn. Ronna Lee Sharpe; The Salvation Army; or the N.R.A."
The obituary notes that Clarence
Carnal "...is survived by his wife of 76 years, Rose; a
daughter, Dolores; seven grandchildren; eleven
great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; a sister,
Lois..." and many other relatives.
Ronna Lee Sharpe, who heads the
Grand Junction Cowboy Gathering and is a Cultural Heritage
Specialist at Colorado Creative Industries/Museum
of Western Colorado, shared the following. She writes that
it is "....part of a traveling exhibit I have been touring
around the state for the past year and a half. It was called
'Harvest of Heritage: Colorado Masterpieces Celebrating
Agricultural Life and Art.' It visited ten sites including the
Colorado State Fair and the National Western Stock Show and is
now at the Telluride Historical Museum."
A March 16, 2012 article by Sharon
Sullivan in the
Grand Junction Free Press,
quotes Ronna Lee Sharpe, "“He was a gift to us all.”
[photo of Clarence Carnal by Wes
Allen Museum of Western Colorado, via Ronna Lee Sharpe
Bill Brown Jr., 1929-2012
From Jeri Dobrowski:
passed away March 2, 2012. Educated in a one-room country school
east of Buffalo, Wyoming, Bill earned a degree in animal science
from the University of Wyoming, where he served as 1952 student
body president. In 1960, the family purchased a ranch and moved
west of Sand Springs, Montana. Bill was a leader in the Montana
cattle industry, a life-long student of range management, and a
mentor to a great many young men who aspired to be the kind of
horseman and top hand that he was. He loved nothing more than to
work a big herd from horseback, or to help a green colt finally
learn to duck a cow. Bill especially enjoyed the most difficult
cow and horse challenges, like figuring out a river crossing, or
a four-day trail with a roundup tent and a chuckbox, or working
a big new piece of country that he hadn’t ridden before.
Central Montana cowboy and rancher
His survived by his wife, Phyllis, his four children, Taylor
(Shannon) ag broadcaster from Huntley; Martha (Marty Clague)
retired university administrator from Red Lodge, Beth Ann (Lyle
Hodgskiss) office manager of the Double Arrow Veterinary Clinic
in Choteau, and Reeves (Penny) Colorado’s state Executive
Director of Local Affairs, of Fruita, Colorado; 14
grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.
Find the full
here at the Northern Ag Network.
[image courtesy of the Brown family]
Tyler Plummer 1978-2012
age 33, on January 25, 2012. Tyler Plummer was
Rodney Nelson's son-in-law,
married in August, 2009 to his daughter Annika.
We learned, with great sadness, of the death of
The Nelson family photo above, Tyler Plummer top
right, was taken January 22, 2012. In 2009, Annika Nelson Tyler
wrote about her marriage in her popular blog,
Read a moving obituary, find services
information, and a guestbook
Read Rodney Nelson's tribute in his Up Sims
the loss of Tyler - one of the good ones
[Thanks to Jeri Dobrowski for the guestbook and
Louise Serpa, 1925-2012
died January 5, 2012. An article after her death,
here in the
Noted rodeo photographer
Her work captured all the elegance, essence
and grit of a 900-pound horse, or a 1200-pound bull, giving
its rider eight seconds, more or less, of sheer terror and
excitement. But beyond the arena, Louise explored the people
and places that made rodeo. After all, rodeo is a way of
life – not a sport, despite corporate attempts to make it
In 2008, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage
Museum had an exhibit of her work. Arizona poet
Chris Isaacs wrote in response to
our article about it:
Your article on Louise Serpa brought back a
lot of memories from a long time ago. Louise and I were at a
lot of the same rodeos in the 60s and I'm proud to say she
was a friend although I haven't seen her in years. I'm glad
to hear that she is being remembered and honored for her
work. She's a great Lady. Here's a photo that Louise took of
me in about 1963 or 1964. If you look close in the bottom
right hand corner you can see her Walking S
brand that she signed her photos with [see the detail below
Find another recent article
here in Inside Tucson Business and another
here in a Cowboys & Indians blog. There is a
January 12, 2011 article and
slide-show tribute to Louise Serpa in
the New York Times,
of the Rodeo,"
Posted and updated 1/12
Jim Cook, died January 10, 2012
brother of songwriter, poet, and musician
Dean Cook, on January 10, 2012.
Dee Strickland Johnson sent the
sad news of the death of Arizona humor writer
Jim Cook, an Arizona Culturekeeper, was known
for his columns for Arizona newspapers, "The
Journal of Prevarication," and as "Arizona's State Official
He was the author of several books, including
Half a Sack of Cats; Jim Cook's Version of His Raffish Youth.
Its description tells a bit about him:
For sixty years, Arizona native Jim Cook has
been writing about the Grand Canyon state in newspapers,
magazines, and books. In 2005, Jim and his brother Dean, a
songwriter and storyteller, were named Arizona
Culturekeepers for their work in keeping alive the lore of
Arizona. After a long career in journalism, Jim became the
Official State Liar of Arizona. He is director of the
Wickenburg Institute for Factual Diversity, which is a think
tank for recreational liars, and a treatment center for
recovering newspapermen. He also edits the institute's
organ, The Journal of Prevarication....
He also wrote The Arizona Liar's
Journal and The
Arizona Liar's Almanac.
Don Dedera, former Arizona Republic
columnist and former editor-in-chief of Arizona Highways
magazine writes a January 15, 2011
tribute column, "A place unbelievable without its prolific
liar" in the Arizona Republic.
Services are pending.
Bob Huff, 1931-2011
December 10, 2011. Bob was a popular performer at gatherings,
including the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering and the Colorado
Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
We were sad to learn of the death of Colorado
Find an obituary
Thanks to Pauline Young, who send the following,
with the permission of Bob Huff's family (who provided the
The View from the Top
July 25, 1931-Dec. 10, 2011
Pagosa resident, Bob Huff, departed this world on Saturday,
Dec. 10,with his wife by his side.
After moving to Pagosa Springs 23 years ago,
Bob became an active member of the community. He was a
member of the local Rotary Club, serving as president of
that organization in 1997-98. He also served on several
boards, including the Upper San Juan Health Service District
and Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Foundation Board, the Archuleta
County Planning Commission, the Pagosa Area Water and
Sanitation District and the Citizens Bank Board of
Bob is perhaps best remembered for his
writing and reciting of cowboy poetry. He published two
books of poetry and became well known as a cowboy poet
throughout the state and region.
Bob kept a few horses and grazed a few cows
each summer on his Little Bit Ranch. He spent endless hours
as a volunteer for the local Forest Service district. He
deeply loved the high country and helped pack in trail
crews, maintain trails and monitor leased grazing
allotments. His poetry — sometimes humorous, often
thoughtful, but always truthful — reflects the connection he
felt with the San Juan Wilderness.
After growing up on a small farm in Kansas
and receiving a scholarship at the University of Kansas, Bob
started his career as a biology teacher at Punahou Academy
in Honolulu, Hawaii, with his wife, Mary Ann, at his side.
After receiving a doctorate in educational administration at
the University of Oregon, Bob embarked on a series of moves
that took him and his family to a number of college towns
across the country. He became a sought-after higher
education administrator and teacher. Among other positions,
Bob was associate director of the National Center for Higher
Education Management systems, professor of higher education
at Virginia Tech University and executive secretary of the
Board of Educational Finance in Santa Fe, N.M. He served as
associate vice president of academic affairs at Arizona
State University and as executive director of the Arizona
University System Board of Regents. Bob served on the
governor’s cabinet in Arizona and represented Arizona on the
Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education.
He completed his busy career by returning to
Arizona State University as a tenured professor and, in
1989, Arizona State named Bob Professor Emeritus.
Bob led a modest, calm and untroubled life.
In many ways he was a man “before his time.” In the late
1950s he took a survival training course, learning how to
live off the land. Before it was trendy, Bob loved to cross
country ski, play and coach tennis, fly fish, go backpacking
and, when he was 50 years old, he ran the Grand Canyon from
rim to rim. But perhaps where Bob felt most at one with
nature was on top of a good horse.
Bob considered himself a fortunate man. He
had the love of a life partner for 58 years, his wife Mary
Ann. He had a couple of good children, a couple of wonderful
granddaughters and some good horses. He was a trusted mentor
to many people in ways he knew and in ways he sometimes
Memorial services for Bob Huff will be held
this spring. The date, time and other specifics will be
announced in The Pagosa Springs SUN.
This is Bob’s final poem, for his family and
been my nature to explore.
On a high country ride,
Climbing up a mountain ridge,
What’s on the other
In every part of life,
I always want to know,
around the bend?
I want to see God’s plans,
Whatever they may be.
What’s in that great beyond?
What is God’s plan for me?
And now it’s time at
My earthly ties to sever.
On top of this
I now can see forever.
of America (CAA) reported the death of celebrated artist and
on December 10, 2011.
Tom Ryan was widely known
for his paintings of the famous 6666 Ranch in Guthrie,
Texas. The CAA comments: "When Ryan paints a cowboy, you
know it is the real thing," says one fellow artist. "You
can just tell by looking at the figure that that man has been
around. His horses are real cow horses. His men are
real ranch hands. They always have just the right feel; there is
never anything in the
painting that does not fit the scene
exactly. He may not have grown up in the West around ranches and
cattle, but he captures them better than anyone else."
Find more about Tom Ryan at the
CAA web site and a detailed biography at the
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
A service will be held Friday, December 16,
2011, at 2:00 pm at the First Baptist Church, 214 N Swenson St,
Stamford, Texas (phone 325-773-2781). Cards may be sent to the
family at 1018 N 6th, Haskell, TX 79521.
Bill Horn, 1938-2011
Jay Snider sent the sad news of the death of the
Texas, member of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA)
Hall of Fame and the first NRHA member to reach Million Dollar
Rider status. One of the founders of the organization, he died
December 9, 2011.
The NRHA web site comments, "
today NRHA and Reining lost one of its most beloved legends when
Bill Horn succumbed to illness. The void his passing
leaves behind cannot be filled."
See the NRHA web site for updated information, which
includes information about a memorial service:
Marvin Lee Brown, Jr. 1925-2011
on November 24, 2011.
Our condolences to popular storyteller and radio
host Waynetta Ausmus on the death of her
Waynetta has written, "For those who knew my
husband, Marvin Brown, he is now at peace today after a long
struggle with heart trouble the past few years. Even though he
passed away today, I am so THANKFUL for the adventures we shared
together and for Marvin filling the past 11 years with happy
memories. He will be remembered lovingly every day....
Find a December 18, 2011 obituary
Waynetta sent information about the memorial
We are having a memorial evening on Dec. 27.
We're having some local cowboy poets and musicians perform
in a Memorial/Tribute. Marvin and I used to put on a monthly
"storytelling" night at a local restaurant so we are hoping
that friends and family will attend. Cowboy poets and
storytellers Bob Upchurch, Lanny Joe Burnett, Edward
Sutherland, Jerry Young from Mesquite, Texas and some fine
local musicians will perform.
died on November 4, 2011.
Heidi Koch sent the sad news that California
poet and reciter
Lynn Owens was
a popular performer at Northern California events, Livermore's
first Cowboy Laureate. He was the Division Chief of the
Livermore Fire Department, retired fter 32 years of service.
[2009 photo by
died November 7, 2011, at his home near Santa Fe.
Poet, songwriter, and storyteller
His work appeared in the
Dry Crik Review
in 1991 and 1993.
here in the
Santa Fe New
Mexican tells about his life
and work. It quotes poet
"I would say Kell Robertson is one fine cowboy-poet, worth a
dozen New Yorker poetasters. Let them listen and hear the voice
of the real America out there."
The article notes, "...a public
memorial featuring music and poetry by Robertson's friends is
being planned for February."
Rene Heil, 1944-2011
ranch photographer, on July 25, 2011 in Follett, Texas.
Yvonne Hollenbeck sent the sad news of the death
For over 15 years, Rene Heil traveled from
Mexico to Montana "photographing the working ranches and the
working cowboys during their spring roundup." Those were his
words, from a communication in May, 2010, when he also wrote,
"...I am in the midst of 2010 Ranch Tour with a branding every
day. I average 2500 photos per day..."
At Rene Heil's
He published six books of his work. His last
Smoke: Top Hands and Pretty Loops
includes the Hollenbeck Ranch in South Dakota. Find more about
See an obituary
Ronald Haugen, died September 6, 2011
65, on September 6, 2011, in Lander, Wyoming.
Deepest sympathy goes out to
Jean Mathisen Haugen on the death
of her husband,
Jean told us, "He learned to love cowboy poetry
and western music (although his rock band had opened for Ike and
Tina Turner in Seattle, WA back in the late 1960's). He had been
very ill for a long time and his passing was a mercy, but I will
miss him very much—we
had been married 8 years on July 3rd this summer...."
Jean offers this poem:
done many things in his life,
and I was privileged to
be his wife.
He loved rock music and mushing dogs,
loved the Northern Lights and Alaska,
and had come to
He had been a psychologist,
racer and a rabble rouser,
a trapper, a carpenter,
and knew his way around plumbing.
He could play a
great rock guitar
and loved sail boats and
them around Puget Sound.
That was my Ron
he had learned to love western music
Life was never easy, but he knew
upwards and know
A Gentle Shepherd
kept an eye on
and had finally come to take him home.
May the Good Lord bless and keep him—
I was privileged to be his wife.
Jean Mathisen Haugen,
September 8, 2011
Jean wrote a poem back in 2003 about their
meeting, which you can read here.
Jean, who is also a local historian and writer, has been a part
of CowboyPoetry.com since its earliest days, and has shared her
poetry and many photos and stories in
Western Memories and Picture the West.
The funeral is Tuesday, September 13, at 10:00
a.m. at the Hudson's Funeral Home Chapel in at Lander.
Ben Buckles, 1930-2011
Yvonne Hollenbeck first sent the news of the
death of Nebraska rancher
on August 8, 2001. Ben Buckles was South Dakota cowboy and poet
Ken Cook's great uncle, one of the
many respected cowboys and ranchers in the Buckles family.
Ken told us:
Ben was the youngest
brother of my Grandpa Frank Buckles....Years ago. I wrote
the poem 'Let the Hammer Down,' inspired in part by Uncle
Ben. It's on the
Dad We'll Rope Today
Throw caution to the wind, if
you're gonna ride with Ben,
'Cause careful ain't the way
that he was raised.
The boy was weaned on rank ones, that
could buck a sunset down,
For courage in the storm he
should be praised.
here tells of Ben Buckes, "He never would allow a tractor on
his property because he was no 'damn' farmer. He raised and
broke his own saddle horses and didn't want a horse on the place
under sixteen hands. 'When I rope something, I don't want to be
tied to it, I want it tied to me.'"
Ben Buckles is survived by four daughters, a
son, four grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Ken Graydon, 1933-2011
who died July 30, 2011.
The Western music and poetry world mourns the
loss of beloved songwriter and singer
Dave Stamey has said of Ken Graydon, "Singer,
writer, historian and gentleman, Ken Graydon is one of my heroes
and a genuine California folk music treasure."
See a tribute
here, written by Ross Altman shortly before Ken Graydon's
death. He writes, "Ken and Phee (Ken Graydon and Phee Shirline)
are rarely seen apart; they appear almost like one musician with
two instruments—she plays the hammer dulcimer and he plays a big
twelve string guitar—matching his booming bass voice with its
powerful bass runs. Ken doesn’t play anything “fancy on a
stick,” as Woody Guthrie once described his own playing, just
the right chord and the right strum at the right time, always
keeping the song and its story front and center."
Times has an moving two-page
piece on Ken Graydon
here by Tony Perry, in which he writes, "Admirers compare
his work to that of Walt Whitman."
Find more about Ken
Paulette Tcherkassky shared this 2008 photo of Jerry
Brooks, Jo Lynne and Michael Kirkwoord, Marianne and
Gary Robertson, Ken Graydon, Melissa and Dave Stamey
and Catherine "Lilbit" Devine, taken at the Palace
Saloon in Prescott, Arizona, during the Arizona
Cowboy Poets Gathering.
The Los Angeles Times reports, "A memorial party
is set for 2 p.m. Sept. 4 at his home in Fallbrook."
who died July 15, 2011.
Tom Morgan sent the sad news of the death of
respected Texas boot and saddle maker
Don was born in Hickory, Missouri on March
6, 1929 to Isaac and Elva Atkinson. His education was the
school of hard knocks. He never graduated high school but
was a very astute businessman. His father died when Don was
a young boy and when he was nine years old, he met Monroe
Veach, a renowned boot and saddle maker. Monroe gave Don his
first piece of leather to make a holster for a Hopalong
Cassidy cap pistol and instructed the boy to bring it back
so he could see it. When Don returned, Monroe saw a talent
in the raw. So went the beginning of a successful career of
saddle making that would make the boy a legend in his own
....Over the years he garnered a legendary
reputation in the fields of boot making and saddle making.
There was nothing he couldn’t do with leather that didn’t
turn out beautifully. He made boots for Slim Pickens, Hank
Williams and Gene Autry. Don took such pride in his
craftsmanship, he was truly a master.
Read the entire obituary
Tom Morgan shared a photo of the last ‘’fancy
saddle’’ that Don Atkinson made (that's how Don Atkinson
described it), which is in Tom's collection:
Find more about Don Atkinson
here at the
American Saddle Makers Association web site.
Posted and updated 8/1
Lloyd M. Gerber,
Lloyd M. Gerber
died July 16, 2011 at his home in Eagle, Idaho.
We were sad to learn that Idaho
sheep-ranch-raised cowboy poet
here in the Washington Post
states that, "He was one of eight siblings and grew up on his
family's sheep farm in Wellington, Utah.
In the 1940s, the
Gerbers moved to a sprawling cattle ranch along Utah's Green
River in Desolation Canyon." In his bio in our feature
here he tells:
In 1946 we
bought the Rock Creek ranch in Desolation Canyon on the
Green River. Pop immediately called it "Seldom Seen" and it
was so named on some maps. That ranch was accessible only by
a two-day pack trip along difficult trails. A year or so
later we bought the Range Creek ranch, which was one day's
ride toward town from Rock Creek.
With a two-day
commute to get to work at Rock Creek, we didn't get out to
the valley as often as we would like, and it made family
life difficult. This led to my seeing the benefits of an
education. Accordingly, I became a lawyer and practiced in
New Mexico and Utah.
In 1969 I accepted a management
position in a subsidiary of The Washington Post in
Washington, D. C., and later became the CEO of that company.
I retired from there December 31, 1985, in order to
return to the West....
In the cowboy
poetry world, he was perhaps best known for his poem, "A
Matter of Taste," which he recited on Johnny Carson's
Tonight Show in 1989.
He performed at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 1989 and
here that appeared in the Idaho Statesman notes, "Lloyd
is survived by an adoring family including three sons, Steven,
Mark, and Nathan; five daughters, Kathy, Julie, Lisa, Susan, and
Lori; 37 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren; and his sister
Services were held July 19, 2011.
See our feature about Lloyd M.
Mike Puhallo, 1953-2011
We mourn the loss of
cowboy, artist, Kamloops Cowboy Festival organizer, and friend
to so many. Mark McMillan, at the
British Columbia Cowboy Heritage
Society (BCCHS) sent the sad news:
Mike passed away peacefully in his sleep in
the wee hours of June 24th. There will be a Celebration of
Mike's Life at 1:00 pm, on Thursday, June 30th, at the
Calvary Community Church in Kamloops. Bryn Theissen and
Pastor Don will officiate. The family is asking that in lieu
of flowers donations be made to the BC Cowboy Heritage
Society Student Scholarship fund.
a link for the fund here,
where there is also a PayPal donation button.
Mike had been battling brain cancer.
In an announcement in April, Mark McMillan of
the British Columbia Cowboy
Heritage Society (BCCHS) commented, "
Puhallo could be referred to as Mr. Kamloops Cowboy Festival,
Mr. BC Cowboy Hall of Fame, and Mr. BC Cowboy Heritage Society.
Mike is one of the founders of all three, and has put a big
chunk of his life over the last 15 years towards the betterment
of all three, and everything connected to them. He's put on many
Cowboy Concerts over the years, many of which have been benefit
concerts for others...."
Find more at the
BCCHS web site,
including a moving article by Mike's daughter Shar,
A June 28, 2011 article
here in the Kamloops Daily News
comments, "Kamloops has lost a leading voice and an energetic
hand close to its heart and western heritage." Find an obituary
A few years ago, Mike sold his part of a ranch
shared with his brother so that he could do what he said he
always wanted to do: "Just cowboy." And, he enjoyed doing just
Mike was the author of a number of poetry
collections, had a solo CD recording and was included in other
audio collaborations. He performed at many events and
gatherings, and was invited to the
Center's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 2010.
Mike was one of the first poets with work at
CowboyPoetry.com, and shared many of his syndicated weekly
"Meadow Muffins." See many poems by Mike Puhallo and more about
him in our feature here.
Woody Woodward 1933-2011
on June 5, 2011, in Arizona.
Jane Morton sent
the sad news of the death of
Woody and poet
Byrd Woodward were married for 52
An moving obituary
here tells, "...His Grandpa Sherrill had taught Woody to
cowboy on the family ranch in northern Idaho, and though he was
a working cowboy for only a few years, he lived his life the
cowboy way filled with love and joy, hard work and honesty. He
was good with all animals but especially so with horses and
dogs. He loved telling stories ..."
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