Cowboy dies in Dayton on way home from rodeo event

Robert Gordon, 47, died Sunday night after competing in a rodeo in Liberty.

By Vanesa Brashier,

A Crosby cowboy on his way home from a competition in Liberty died unexpectedly Sunday night while driving through Dayton.

Robert Gordon, 47, had just participated in a calf roping contest in the Winter Rodeo Buckle Series at the Trinity Valley Exposition Center that afternoon. The rodeos, organized by Mutt Neuman of Dayton, are for non-professional cowboys and cowgirls who want to hone their skills.

Robert Gordon worked as a process technician at ExxonMobil at the time of his death.

Gordon, who worked for ExxonMobil as a process technician, was a regular at Neuman’s rodeos, though the two were passing acquaintances.

“I knew him from the competitions. Another guy had roped out of order last night, so Robert rode up and we discussed it. Then the rodeo was over, and he left. The next thing I heard was that he had died on his way home,” Neuman said. “It was a shock to me.”

Gordon’s wife of six years, Shalantha, says that something medically happened to her husband as he was driving.

“He was rolling through Dayton when he passed out. He hit a pole in front of a pawn shop. It just so happened that the woman driving behind him was traveling with her boyfriend or husband, who happened to be a paramedic. They got Robert out of his vehicle and began performing CPR and called for an ambulance, but it was too late,” she said. “He died at the scene.”

An autopsy will determine the cause of death, but Shalantha suspects it was a heart attack or blood clot as his death was sudden and unexpected.

“He loved the rodeo. Maybe it was the roping that caused him some strain but everyone said he seemed okay when he was there, so I just don’t know,” she said.

She describes her husband as an outdoorsman, who loved to hunt and fish, but loved his family even more.

“We have known each other our whole lives. His grandparents lived right next to my grandparents,” she said. “Robert was just a good guy. He was very friendly to everybody. He talked to everybody. He would do nice things for complete strangers.”

The couple shared four children and one granddaughter.

See the video of Gordon’s last rodeo appearance by clicking here. Video is courtesy of Melinda Wheeler Dhillon.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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