Empty Saddles

R.W. "Rib" Gustafson
May 1, 1925 ~ October 30, 2014


Rib Gustafson, father of Wylie Gustafson, passed away on October 30, 2014. He was an invited guest at the 2005 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. It would be hard to find a more genuine western background than that of Rib Gustafson. He was inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2013.

For many years, Rib served as veterinarian in the foothills of north-central Montana, a region called the "Chinook Arch," where grizzlies still wander the mountains, the plains stretch east a thousand leagues, and it can snow three feet overnight. Two of his major passions were skiing and rodeo.

Rib was also a rancher and entertainer - singing and sharing stories for picnics, family gatherings and county fairs. He enjoyed singing to children, which may be what influenced his children to become musicians. Rib authored five books, including: Seaman-The Dog Who Helped Explore America; Under the Chinook Arch, From San Antone to Bannock; York-The Slave Who Helped Explore America; and, Room to Roam

Until his death, Rib continued to live at the family home in Conrad, Montana, riding cutting horses with his son Wylie, and running a small herd of cattle with his son Erik.

Read an obituary for Rib here: http://www.misermortuaries.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=2784533&fh_id=14212

Watch National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Videos on YouTube


See photos from prior Gatherings in our Photo Gallery.

Watch Gathering Moments on Film, short and casual "guerrilla" videos from prior Gatherings.

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1864 - 2014