On October 15, 2019, Terrill Staples, The Old Cowboy, saddled up for his last trail ride into the loving arms of his sweetheart, Bonnie. He passed away in St. George. Terrill was born August 11, 1926, in Inverury, (later changed to Central Valley), Utah, the son of Elva and Delilah Washburn Staples. He was raised on the family farm in Central Valley during the depression where he learned the value of hard work and to Hooverize. He graduated from South Sevier High School in May 1944. Shortly after he turned 18, he received greetings from Uncle Sam informing him that he had been inducted into the United States Army.
Terrill served with Company K 32nd Infantry, 7th Division, stationed in Okinawa. His division was preparing for the Invasion of Japan when the bombs were dropped and the Japanese surrendered. The 7th Division was then sent to the 39th parallel in Korea. Terrill served for 8 months in Korea until he was released because his mom and the girls had been running the farm alone as his father had passed away several years earlier.
After returning from the war, Terrill met his future bride, Bonnie Chidester, while cruising main street. They were married on November 12, 1948, and were together for 67 wonderful years. They were later sealed in the Manti Temple. Bonnie and Terrill are the parents of three children: Vickie (Terry) Wilson, John Randall (Gloria) Staples, and Doris (Greg) Croshaw. He has 11 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great grandchildren. Bonnie preceded him in death March 1, 2016.
Terrill was a farmer and cattle rancher in Sevier Valley for 60 years. He also worked for the state as a brand inspector for 17 years. He loved the beauty of the farm and the quiet life of a rancher. He worked hard and felt a special closeness to the animals and the land. Along with his father-in-law, Denzel, he raced thoroughbred horses at tracks in Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and California for over 30 years.
At the age of 69, Terrill became a cowboy poet. He wrote his first poem, A Beautiful Day, sitting on a hay bale in the yard after a long day. He continued writing poetry and performed his original poems at cowboy poetry gatherings and competitions throughout the state until his 90s. He often performed his poems with his brother, Kay, singing and playing the guitar. Wherever he performed, his number one fan, his Bonnie, was always with him, at his side cheering him on. In 2006 Terrill was awarded the Cowboy Heritage Award given annually to a quiet hero, whose words and actions demonstrate a reverence and respect for the Western Way of Life.
Terrill lived a full life and kept his keen mind and strong body into his 90s. He has left a lasting legacy of hard work and dedication to the land and the Western way of life to his family and all those who knew him. The Old Cowboy will be missed but never forgotten.
Terrill is survived by his children and his sisters: Mary D Powell, and Carol (June) Jensen, both Richfield; Elnora (Kenneth) Mason, Elk Ridge; Louisa (Fred) Swain, Salem; his brother, Ronnie (LaRene) Staples, St. George; and sister-in-law, Melody Staples, Orem. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Bonnie; his infant daughter, Kathleen; and sisters: Orene Zobell, Glenda Hawley, Gloria Roberts; brothers: Vance, Sylvan, Leon and Kay Staples.
Funeral services will be held Friday, October 25, 2019, at 12:00 Noon in the Magleby Mortuary Chapel, 50 S 100 W, Richfield. Friends may call at the Magleby Mortuary Thursday from 6-7 p.m. and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Burial will be in the Richfield City Cemetery with military honors by the V.F.W. Sevier Post #5050 and Utah Honor Guard . Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com
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