Hundreds celebrate the life of local rodeo star
Simone Del Rosario
Several hundred friends and family celebrate the life of local rodeo star Wyatt Althoff, who died in a boating accident at age 26.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - A local rodeo star and national champion died last weekend in a tragic boating accident.
Wyatt Althoff, 26, was with friends at Roosevelt Lake when he went overboard and never resurfaced. Gila County search crews found his body two days later.
Several hundred friends and family gathered Saturday in Marana to celebrate his life. Althoff, a Canyon Del Oro graduate, was one of Southern Arizona's own.
The service Saturday was designed to celebrate Althoff's life, where hundreds paid tribute to the cowboy with the contagious smile.
"You could hear his life from a mile away, and could see his smile, too," longtime friend Chance Means said. "Every person that ever knew Wyatt has some of him inside of them."
"The best all-around smile; we never saw him frown. He's mine and he is yours: He's our best all-around," said Corban Livingston, reciting a poem he wrote after Althoff passed.
The all-around champion kicked up a lot of dust in the rodeo arena. He dominated the calf roping, bulldogging and team roping at New Mexico State University.
In 2008, he came in hot at the College National Finals Rodeo. He returned back home with the All-Around Cowboy title.
Friends said Althoff is an all-around cowboy in and out of the arena.
"You guys have the most special angel and the most special person," friend Whitney Haught said to Althoff's family and girlfriend. "Wyatt's just started living."
Living in the hearts of thousands, and in the heart of his girlfriend Kelsey Early.
"I'm blessed to have been with Wyatt and he's dang sure made me a better person," Early said. "I hope I can be half the person that he is because he is amazing."