Empty Saddles

Empty Saddles - Obituaries


On Oct. 16, 2013, God called home a true cowboy. Abigah Elum Duncan, Sr. was born on Feb. 25, 1920, in York, Ariz., to Gus and Nora Duncan. At a young age Bige was quite a horseman and a good ranch hand. Bige graduated from high school in Kingman, Ariz., in 1939. He worked alongside his parents on the Walnut Creek Ranch until 1946 when the Duncan family moved to Lovelock. There Bige and his parents bought the old Salinas Ranch and lived until his final days.

Dale “Tuffy” Cooper, considered a pioneer in the sport of roping and patriarch of one of the greatest rodeo families in the history of the sport, died Nov. 17 at his home in Monument, N.M., after breaking his hip in a fall. He was 88.

Gene O’Brien, stepfather to seven-time World Champion Team Roper Clay O’Brien Cooper, died Oct. 23 from injuries suffered in a highway accident two weeks earlier near his home in Rowland Heights, Calif. He was 82. 

Karl J. Hackamack, 78, passed away Sept. 20 after a brief illness. Karl moved to Watsonville, Calif., from Los Angeles with his parents and brother in 1950. He graduated from Watsonville High School with the class of 1952. He spent 31 years with the City of Watsonville and worked the last seven years with the Monterey Regional Waste Management District in Marina where he retired.

Courtesy of ProRodeo 

John W. Jones Sr., the 1970 world champion steer wrestler and a member of the inaugural class of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979, died Oct. 6 of an aortic aneurism. He was 81.