Got word last night that a friend of mine passed away. We had met thru’ my ad for saddle making in the Cowboy magazine. She had a horse who was giving her a hard time and she wondered if the saddle might be the problem. After some phone calls and long conversations, the upshot of it was she came here to the ranch with the horse and we checked out her saddle and the horse and tried a couple of my saddles on the mare. I told her I thought it was just the horse, but she wanted me to build her a saddle anyway. So I did. The next spring she drove here from where she lived in Indiana to visit friends and relatives and spent a day with me and went with along to a neighbors branding and had a great time.

She was such a good hand and so full of life, but on her way home, blacked out while driving down the road. The friend riding with her in the pickup grabbed the wheel and steered the pickup to a safe stop. When she got home they did tests and found a tumor. There was an operation and chemo and radiation, which she really didn’t want. As she told me, “I am not afraid of dying, but I don’t want to be a vegetable.”

She regained most of her motor function, but had difficulty forming the words she wanted to say. It was so sad to see someone who had so much life get to this position and she hated it, but her husband decided for her to do the treatment. Now she has passed on to a better place.

Jill, lots of us will miss your wit and wisdom and zest for life. Rest in peace, my friend.