May 27, 1972 – 2002
Tom Boots was born in Alliance, Nebraska, May 27, 1972, the third child of Richard and Lucie Boots. His parents were ranchers and Tom grew up living and loving the ranch life. Tom was always a very energetic child and this was evident in everything he did, especially with horses, cattle and anything else he could think of.
Mainly, he wanted to be a cowboy and do everything his dad did. He always had a love for horses and his first was a Shetland pony named Bridget. At the age of 4, he helped his brother, Tony, clean out the arena at the Old Timers Rodeo in Hyannis, Nebraska, riding Bridget.
Tom attended and graduated from Mullen High School. While in high school he joined the rodeo team, participating in bull riding and steer wrestling. Steer wrestling was his favorite and it took him to the National High School Rodeo Finals his Senior year where he placed 11th in the nation.
His love for horses and cattle never wavered and took him into adulthood. Working on different ranches was a pleasure instead of a job. After 2 years of college in Torrington, he married and continued ranching and rodeoing in Nebraska and Wyoming.
He worked for Dave Hergert on his ranches and feedlots in Nebraska and Wyoming. Later he got acquainted with Glen Southwick, who had rodeo stock. Glen had a ranch in Wyoming and wanted Tom to take care of the bucking horses. There was 75-100 horses and Tom loved it.
He also put a herd of cows together of his own, which he was very proud of. While working for Glen Southwick, he became a pickup man and was able to pickup at rodeos in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.
Picking up the NSRA Finals in North Platte, Nebraska was the highlight of all his years as a pickup man. He also got involved in Ranch Rodeos and was awarded the “Top Hand” Cowboy at the Wyo/Nebr. Ranch Rodeo in Mitchell, Nebraska, two years in a row.
He also was excellent at breaking horses to ride and always had some in the pen that he was working on for somebody. Tom was a personable man that loved to visit and tell stories. He loved to hear and tell a good joke and will always be remembered for his ornery sense of humor. He was affectionately known as “Stub”, from a young age, by those that knew and loved him.
He died much too young, trying to help a friend. He leaves behind a son, Chase Taylor Boots; his parents, Rich and Lucie Boots; sisters Nocona Boots and Tonya Folk and family; and his brother, Tony Lama Boots.