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Skiatook community mourns loss of "last true cowboy" killed in auto-ped over the weekend

Posted at 3:49 PM, Dec 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 21:44:08-05

SKIATOOK, Okla. -- It was a tragic weekend for the cowboy community of Skiatook.

Loved ones said Robert Harper, known as the last true cowboy, was called home after a fatal auto-pedestrian accident on Highway 11 Sunday night. 

Now, the community is coming together to honor a dear friend. They say you didn’t have to be a cowboy to know who Robert was. Chances are you saw him under the arena lights at the Skiatook Roundup Club, or you knew him as the man who tied up his horses at the local Walmart.

“He was one of the realest cowboys left,” a loved one said.

It’s not easy to get a group of cowboys in a room to talk about their feelings, but for Robert, it happened.

“Pretty much we done about everything together and it just still hasn’t sunk in,” Charlie Brown, Robert’s lifelong friend said.

Robert may have been a rough-and-tough cowboy on the outside, but he had a humble heart.

“You won’t hear a real cowboy brag about their own horse and you never heard him say anything like that,” Ralph Williams, a friend said. “He just kind of showed you what they could do.”

To many he’s known as the local horse trainer, but for one little girl he’s known as the man who changed her life.

“I started getting bullied at school and my grades started slipping,” Ardy, AKA “Little cuz” said.

She said Robert stepped in offering her an outlet by riding horses.

“I’m really thankful for it,” Ardy said.

Friends said Robert was a man who touched everyone’s life whether they knew him or not.

“You’re likely to pull up at Walmart and his horses be tied up in the shopping cart stall,” Brown said.

Robert was also known as the man always on horseback.

“I couldn’t tell you how tall he is because every time I seen him he was on a horse,” Cole Williams, Robert’s neighbor said.

Others said he was the man who risked it all riding wild horses just for the rush.

“We’ve probably worn out three or four guardian angels a piece,” Brown said.

Robert is a cowboy who’s now taking his final ride to the sky, leaving those who loved him with these final words.

“The simple term, Cowboy up, Robert,” Brown said.

A benefit account for Robert has been set up at Exchange Bank in Skiatook. Funeral services are pending.

No one was arrested in connection to the crash. Authorities are calling it a terrible accident.

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