Oregon cowboy Chad J. Hurtley passed from this life to the next life on September 2 in Redmond, following a search and recovery operation managed by Deschutes County Sheriff and Search and Rescue. He was 49 years old.

Chad was born in Junction City, moving with his family to the Sisters area in 1973, where his parents ranched, bred, trained and showed horses. Chad, with his older brother, Shawn, spent their days in the shadow of the Cascade mountains where he loved to take photographs and in later life share cracking coffee time with Facebook friends. Chad finished school at Redmond High School, where he had excelled in high school rodeo until an accident that forced him to no longer move toward a professional rodeo life. On July 27, 1991 he married Arlene (Shorty) Cassell at the Sisters Park. He was the father of two girls, Rylee (21) and Dally (18), whom he adored. He worked as a carpenter for local construction companies and for a time transported horses across the country for people moving to new locations. His love was horse-training and ranching on Hurtley Ranch Road. He loved to ride in the Three Creek area and enjoyed horse-packing with friends. He had an amazing sense of direction and once helped someone out of Mt. Bachelor after spending the night in a snow tree well. He worked the bucking chutes for a number of years at the Sisters Rodeo. He was kind, respectful, loyal to his friends and family, wore a cowboy hat, jeans and boots and a championship buckle he won in La Pine High School Rodeo in 1988. Recently Chad had attended First Presbyterian Church in Bend, but he had grown up at the Sisters Church of Christ where his mother — Judy Hurtley — had worshiped until her death in 1997.

Chad is survived by his daughters, Rylee and Dally of Sisters; his former wife, Arlene (Shorty) (Alan) Haugen; brother Shawn Hurtley (Michelle) of Marco Island, Florida; his father, David Hurtley (Carol) of Yuma, Arizona; an aunt, Jane (Jerry) Kirkpatrick of Bend; uncle, Craig (Barbara) of Redwing, Minnesota; and nephews Joshua (Rebecca) Hurtley, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; niece Sarah (Justin) Robinson, Longview, Texas; nephews Jacob (Laurell) Hurtley, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; Josiah Hurtley, Goodfellow AFB, Texas; Jonathan Hurtley, Marco Island, Florida; cousins Matt (Melissa) Kirkpatrick, Wasco, Oregon; Kathleen (Joe) Larsen, Deland, Florida; Cohlman (Katie) Rutschow, St. Paul, Minnesota; Clayton (Dani) Rutschow, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and many friends, especially Lisa Marie Gilbo of Redmond who helped him recover from a serious horse accident in 2017.

“If there’s one thing in this life that you should always have, it’s forgiveness. I forgive you dad for your mistakes, and I wish you knew that before. I know you were putting yourself back together, I wish I knew how far you had come. I wish you’d given me more of a chance to reconnect with you. I’m so angry that you left us behind. You’ve gone through so many hard things in your life. I wish you didn’t give up.

“But, thank you for teaching me to be strong; strong with horses and strong in the mountains. I wish we could go on just one more long camping trip. These next few months are going to be the hardest months of my life, but at least I know you get to be with your mama, Judy, and you’ll be my guardian angel. Ride high, daddio. 7/25/1970 - 9/2/2019”

— By Dally Hurtley

He is predeceased by grandparents Chuck and Pearl Rutschow; and his mother, Judy Hurtley.

A Celebration of Chad’s Life will be held on September 21, at the Sisters Rodeo Grounds, at 1:30 p.m. Niswonger-Reynolds is handling affairs. Visit their website at www.niswonger-reynolds.com to leave condolences and memories for the family.

Contributions can be made to www.deschutes