Home / Empty Saddles / Lonnie Wright 1939 - 2020
Posted on Oct 5, 2020
Empty Saddles

Lonnie Wright 1939 - 2020


Lonnie Max Wright longtime resident of Murphy and Caldwell passed away Tuesday September 29, 2020, at the age of 80.


  Lonnie was born November 21, 1939 in Buffalo, SD, to a rodeo family.  His father John Wright was a champion team roper, calf roper and saddle bronc rider and his Grandfather raised remounts for the US Army in the Black Hills of the Dakotas.  He came to Idaho with his family as a child and attended school in Marsing, Idaho.  Lonnie served in the United States Navy from 1958 to 1961.  He worked many years as a brick layer and retired in 2005 after working for 20 years as a property appraiser for Owyhee County.   He has been married to his wife Barbara for 48 years.

Lonnie was active in many rodeo associations.  He holds a gold card in the Idaho Cowboys Association and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He is currently  a member of the Senior Pro Rodeo Association, ACTRA and USTRC. He is a Silver Legacy member of the World Series of Team Roping. This summer he competed at the Senior Pro Rodeos in Idaho at Council and Emmett.  In 2014 he was the champion heeler of the prestigious Caldwell Night Rodeo Memorial Century Roping. He was the All Around Champion in the Idaho Cowboys Association for 6 consecutive years 1966 to 1971.  He also holds two state championships in the team roping, calf roping and bull riding in the ICA.  He holds two team roping championships in the IMPRA. In 1964 he won the team roping championship in the International Rodeo Association. In 1966 he won the Earl Lovan trophy at Jordan Valley and retired the Wayne Albert all around trophy at New Plymouth in 1967.  In 2008 Lonnie was inducted into the Idaho Rodeo Hall of Fame.

Lonnie won his first bull riding at the age of 13 at the Vale, OR rodeo, and won many wild horse races as a teenager.  Lonnie and is father John won the first Jordan Valley Big Loop contest in 1962.

Lonnie and his wife Barbara lived in Murphy for 40 years and along with Lonnie's father John they put on some of the biggest team ropings in the country.  Lonnie spent a lot of time helping kids with their roping and barrel racing.  He would often lend his horses to kids who needed a horse to ride. Following his retirement in 2005 from Owyhee County Lonnie and Barbara spent the next few years traveling on the National Senior Pro Rodeo

Circuit.  They also started spending their winters in Arizona where they built a home near Wickenburg.  In 2014 they sold their home at Murphy and moved to Caldwell where they put in a home and a horse facility. Lonnie loved all animals and always had a dog with him and sometimes more than one. Last year he lost his beloved dog Panda.

Lonnie was unique in character and personality.  Funny, sensitive, thoughtful and loved competition.  Larger than life a legend a hero and a teacher.  He never looked back.  He touched a lot of lives throughout his life.  He may have failed at times but he never quit.  He lived his passion.  The lives that he touched and the friendships that he made are a tribute to his life.  He cared very deeply for his friends, family and animals.

Lonnie is survived by his wife Barbara, a son John, Elko, Nevada, a daughter Kaila (Scott) Rome, Oregon, a daughter Ashley (Everett) Elko, Nevada, brother Jerry (Irene) Nampa, sister Vickie Nagele. Caldwell.  Many grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

Lonnie will be buried at a private ceremony at the Marsing/Homedale Cemetery and a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

In memory of Lonnie the family request donations be made in his honor to the Spurs and Spikes Crisis Fund, 3060 Market Rd. Homedale, ID 83628 or your favorite charity.

Time Tracker on Global Handicaps

Countdown to Finale XV