Empty Saddles

Empty Saddles - Obituaries


  Sept. 1, 1935 - Jan. 29, 2017

Arthur George Rodriguez Jr. passed away January 29 at the Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock, Calif. Art was born in Watsonville, Calif., on September 1, 1935 to Arthur George Rodriguez and Lois May Harper-Rodriguez of Castroville.  

  Dale Smith on Poker Chip Peake

1928 - 2017

Dale Smith, an all-around timed-event cowboy from Safford, Ariz., died Jan. 15, 2017 in Stanfield, Arizona.

Smith won consecutive world team roping championships in 1956-57 and missed a third by just $13. In 1959 he went to the National Finals Rodeo in three events – team roping, tie-down roping and steer roping – becoming the first man in ProRodeo history to accomplish that feat.

 1930 - 2016

Dayton Silva passed away peacefully at home in Acampo, Calif. He was born in Hayward, Calif., and grew up in Pleasanton. He started working for the Walker family in Livermore at the age of 16. Dayton’s love for riding horses, roping and ranching, building his own herd of cows, was his way of life. After working for the Walker family for almost 30 years, he moved to Brentwood and worked for Sparrowk Livestock for 18 years. He then retired, sold his cows, but continued running steers at Brushy Peak in Livermore. Branding calves and team roping was something he never gave up.   He never turned down a roping or an invitation to brand calves.  

 1943 - 2016

Courtesy of Fresno Bee

Beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend, Stanley “Stan” J. Sanders, age 73, of Madera, CA, passed away surrounded by family on Friday, December 23, 2016.

 1931 - 2016

Bill was a rodeo cowboy from the age of 14. He roped calves, adding bareback broncs at the age of 17. He served in the army in the Korean war from 1950 to 1953. He continued calf roping and team roping, eventually teaching his daughter Terri to rope. They partnered up when possible, and he roped with everybody else when she couldn’t. When he wasn’t roping, you could find him on the ski slopes or tennis courts with his youngest daughter Stacey. The rest of his time was on the golf course trying to take his buddies’ money.