Decatur ~ Gene Oliver “Buddy” Cockrell, 85, went to be with our Lord Saturday, May 16, 2020 in Decatur.
Graveside service will be 2:00 p.m. Thursday at Fairview Cemetery in Pampa, Texas. Family will receive friends 6 – 8 p.m. Wednesday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.
Gene was born June 10, 1934 to Younger and Alice (Ingram) Cockrell in Pampa, Texas. He graduated from Pampa High, going on to Oklahoma University with a football scholarship where they managed to win 47 straight games, which is still an unbroken record. During his 3rd year he transferred to Hardin Simmons University with a rodeo & football scholarship under Sammy Baugh’s leadership. After college he played football in Canada for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders. As soon as he arrived home, the Cleveland Browns were knocking on his door. He played for them for one year, then his old coach, Sammy Baugh, called and asked him to come play for him with the New York Titans. He played with the Titans for 3 years before retiring his professional career.
Buddy was a member of the PRCA, and a winning champion in 1977 Steer Tripping. He was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 2019. He also was also inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2014, and into the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame. Buddy lived in Australia where he had a ranch for eight years. He knew and helped several political figures, Senator Bob Price, having flown in Airforce One with President Gerald Ford and throwing a big BBQ in Pampa for President Ronald Reagan. Buddy was a member of the Senior Steer Roping Association, which he helped start. He participated in many rodeo events, bulldogging, team roping, and steer tripping. Buddy was a man of many talents.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Lee Cockrell.
Those left behind to cherish his memory are his wife, Geneva Cockrell of Decatur; his sons, Melvin Gene Cockrell of Amarillo, and Dan Harris Cockrell and wife Drucilla of Higgins; his daughter Amy Best and husband Kyle of Douglas, Arizona; the mother of his children, Joyce Cockrell of Amarillo; stepchildren, Ty Harris and wife Kimberly of Decatur, and Krece Harris of Decatur; his grandchildren, Clint Cockrell and wife Jordan of Canadian, Clay Cockrell and wife Samantha of Lubbock, Ty Cockrell of Stephenville, Klancy Best and wife Kaysha of Arizona, and Trey Best of Arizona, Lawson and Layton Harris of Decatur, Kyene and Shye Harris of Decatur and their mother, Stefanie Harris; his great-grandchildren, Mae and Creed Cockrell of Canadian, Claire and Colton Cockrell of Lubbock, and Hondo Best of Arizona; numerous extended family and a host of friends.
The Family has requested that memorials be made to the charity of your choice.
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