Everyone should have a Mike Mathis in their life. Every city should have a Mike Mathis who champions its causes. Any rodeo without a Mike Mathis just misses the mark.

The man so many know as 'Mr. Rodeo' has taken his final ride on this dirt. He passed away while in Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo. His larger-than-life persona and his stories will live on.

Oh...The Stories

The widespread grief over Mike's passing is heavy. There will be many tears shed over the next several weeks. But, there will be the recounting of so many wonderful Mike Mathis stories.

  • " Remember that time when Mike..."
  • " Once at a Lion's Club meeting, Mathis said..."
  • " When Mike was working a rodeo in Jackson, he..."

Blessed With So Many Talents

God gives everyone talents. We are commanded to use those talents for the betterment of others. Mike Mathis...job well done good and faithful servant.

Many, many people witnessed Mike's talents in the public spectrum. His ability to memorize the accomplishments of every rodeo contestant was unrivaled. That's just one of the reasons why he was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.

He could bring goosebumps to an audience with the pure and perfect prayer he adlibbed at the beginning of rodeos. Mike could also use his unrelenting humor to bring a meeting to stitches.

Mike's Biggest Talent

There were many other talents Mike possessed, but the one I believe that stood above all others was his willingness to help others and to do so passionately. It was that dedication that made the Angelina Benefit Rodeo the huge success that it is today.

I first met Mike in the early 90s. Through the next 30 years, we worked together many times. We had business and personal conversations, some brought laughter, and others brought tears.

I will miss my on-air interviews with Mike. I will miss him introducing me at the mutton bustin' in Lufkin. I will miss watching Mike on horseback prodding someone to yell 'Yee Haw' at the Angelina Benefit Rodeo.

I'm so glad I had Mike Mathis in my life, and so many in East Texas and beyond are blessed to have had him in theirs.

Mutton Busting on 4-29-23

Here's a look at the young cowboys and cowgirls who competed in the mutton busting competition on April 29, 2023 at the Angelina Benefit Rodeo.

Gallery Credit: Danny Merrell

Mutton Busters 04-27-23

Here are the cowboys and cowgirls who competed at the mutton busting competition on April 27 at the Angelina Benefit Rodeo

Gallery Credit: Danny Merrell






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