Empty Saddles

Jack Walther
1919 ~ 2016

Jack Walther, photo submitted to 2009 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering  It is with sadness that we note the passing on April 10, 2016, of lifelong Elko County cattleman, rancher, and cowboy poet, Jack Walther. Born in Elko in 1919, Jack spent most of his life ranching within a long day's horseback ride of his hometown, on the family ranch and his own. He will be greatly missed by the community and his cowboy poetry family. Our deepest sympathies go out to Irene and the Walther family.

Jack broke his first horse when he was eight years old, on the family ranch at the base of the Ruby Mountains. Highly respected for his talent with horses, Jack was also manager for the 71 Ranch  for several years. He began writing his poetry down in the 1950s but kept it quiet, only stepping into the limelight in the 1980s at Elko events like the inaugural Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko in 1985. Jack recited traditional cowboy poetry as well as his original pieces, sharing poetry and stories that echoed themes repeated around campfires during the first cattle drives as well as modern everyday ranch life. He published a small volume of poetry, "Ruby Mountain Rhymes," that has seen several printings.

Services are scheduled for Saturday, April 16 at 10:00 am - viewing at 9:00 am - at the Nevada LDS East Stake Center, 1651 College Parkway, Elko.

Read a full obituary in the Elko Daily Free Press.