Johnny Eugene Green left this ranch in exchange for greener pastures on August 1, at 2:22 am with his family close. Known as Preach, he wore stark white starched shirts, good hats and boots. He skipped school every Wednesday to attend the Livestock Auction, where he received his true education. His dear Mother phoned the High School Principal once a week and gave her approval for his absence. While at the Sale Barn, he chose his mentors well. Jim Suckla, Walter Wallace and many of the other successful ranchers influenced him. Don Majors, Lloyd Wallace were in the 1955 graduating class and were friends from the beginning. Dwight and Jackie Wallace were as dear of friends as a man could have. He practiced the auctioneer’s chant and marketing techniques. With the gift of gab, a sharp mind, pencil and drive to be the best, he attended Auctioneer School. When he returned, he started creating a life you are celebrating today.
He cried the weekly cattle sales at Deming, NM, Torrington, WY, and Durango, CO.
If you were in the Southwest, or parts unknown, and mention this man’s name, eyebrows raise and a story is told. He is always ready to make a trade. You may have your own story about this fun -loving cowboy, please join the family at the Elk’s Lodge for a meal. A few years back, he gave up modern transportation and took a buckboard and team to town with his little friend Cubby, a blue heeler. His weekly errands included picking up his starched shirts at the Cortez Laundry. Each trip he tied the team to the awning while he went inside to visit with Esther. When the team spooked and tore the awning from the building, he was the only customer who received curbside assistance thereafter.
When you attend a live cattle auction, there is a group of men who are clearly focused on the cattle; they appear confident and relaxed. These are the order buyers. Johnny spent many years buying truckloads of cattle. His home place, is perfect for trading livestock. The cattle company saw many horses, cattle, sheep and goats weigh over those scales. You just need to be a cowhand to enjoy the shade under his trading tree.
“You got to sorter give and take in this old world.” Will Rogers
Do you remember the Curry Comb 4-H Club? Small but strong in the early 70’s. The beef leader was Johnny. At that time a group of like- minded fathers, formed a group to build a new fair grounds. It was no easy undertaking. The Montezuma County Fair Grounds started in 1977 thanks to this group of driven men. One obstacle to obtaining the current land where the Fair Grounds sets was a 100-year lease with The Colorado State Land Board. Johnny Green flew to Denver to meet with the Land Board and bargain for the land. He signed his John Hancock and the land is currently under lease to Montezuma County.
Around this same time, he was elected the President of the Southwest Colorado Livestock Association. Promoting the livestock industry included participating in local parades. He drove some pretty green teams down main street.
Guy Odell, Art Simmons, Perry Lewis, Bud Winbourn and many other cowboys including Johnny embraced the young cowboys and cowgirls of the High School Rodeo Association. Rough stock practice, broncs, and bulls were always waiting for the young men. The High School Team could also count on transportation, food, entry fees and a few good lessons during the decade of the “70’s”. He became a hero to many young cowboys.
Johnny raised three children. The youngest son shares his love of books, and adventure. His middle son is a chip off the ole’ block, an auctioneer, good hand with a horse and rope, and the oldest is known, as a teacher.
No retirement for this guy, with his partner of many years Cheryl Dean. He traded a bit to Kyle this week.
Many of his treasures can be found at the Antique Corral with his handwritten stories of their origin.
Johnny had time for a little fun too, morning coffee with Kevin, Billy, Gerald, and all the coffee shop crew. If you were his friend, you were his friend for life.
“What constitutes a life well spent, anyway? Love and admiration from your fellow men is all that anyone can ask.” Will Rogers
Preceding him in death are his parents, Roy Zachary Green, Hazel (Dibler) Green; three sisters; and his children’s mother, Helen (Jessup) Goodall.
Surviving him are Cheryl Dean (life partner), Joanne (Kenny) Goode, Frank
Green (Cindy), Swede Green (Marie), several grandchildren and great grandchildren, sister Cathy McCabe.
Funeral services will be held at Cortez Sale Barn at 10:00 am Saturday August 5, 2023, followed by a horse drawn procession to Cortez Cemetery followed by a meal at the Elk’s Lodge.