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Posted on Sep 9, 2016
Empty Saddles

Buff Douthitt 1924 - 2016


Buff passed away peacefully on September 4, 2016 in the arms of Jane, his wife of 60 years, with family and close friends standing by him. He was preceded in death by his son Jason Douthitt.

Buff Douthitt was born in Hagerman, 24 miles south of Roswell, NM. His destiny was set in stone as he grew up on a 60,000-acre ranch surrounded by cowboys and cattle. His life played out like a movie and has been chronicled quite a few times. Buff was a versatile cowboy who lived an amazing life and was an accomplished Professional Rodeo Cowboy;  competing professionally in Steer Wrestling, Calf Roping and later in life, Team Roping.   Winning numerous championships including Madison Square Garden, Boston Garden, along with championships in many other major cities in the United States, as well as Cuba, Canada and Mexico.   As a National Cowboy Hall of Famer he was once featured in the Wheaties cereal “Breakfast of Champions” series.  

While competing in Madison Square Garden, he was “discovered” and signed a contract as a model with a New York advertising agency becoming one of the first to represent the cowboy image for America. He became “Lee Rider” the official spokesperson for Lee Jeans and was featured at many fairs and rodeos with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

Buff created an amazing contract act. He wore cowboy boots as he walked a slack rope, twirling three ropes and even placed a ladder on the slack rope, climbing it while trick roping. “There were two windmills on the ranch about 150 feet apart, and one day I connected a rope between them and walked across without falling,” he said. “Later, I began to do rope tricks while walking across and found that I had a knack for acrobatics.”

In the 1970’s, he built a living quarters horse trailer, which led to a contract to build LQ’s for Williams’ Craft manufacturing in Dallas. Eventually, the Douthitts started their own business, MBM International Inc., in the Fort Worth area, manufacturing mobile homes. This led to a major contract with the government for housing units for the federal government, at one point employing over 3,500 in the Dallas-Ft Worth area.

After two successful careers, Buff Douthitt retired again, and he and Jane moved to Santa Fe. But Buff could not stay away from the cowboy way and became involved in the film industry. In addition to providing livestock for western films, Buff became a movie consultant and had numerous cameo roles as an actor. He had full acting role in several movies, and had an ongoing role as the judge in the international western series, “Lucky Luke.”

Buff is survived by his loving wife, Jane and faithful daughter April Douthitt-Dugger and his two grandchildren, Drew and Jack Dugger and his beloved care giver Veronica Leyva; two sisters, Effie Jo and Rachel Douthitt of Roswell, NM. A memorial “Celebration of Life” will be held on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at 192 San Marcos Loop, Santa Fe, NM 87508.

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