Reuben F. Detweiler



  Reuben F. Detweiler, 33, died Tuesday, November 30, 2004 as a result of a traffic accident near Gallatin, MO.

Reuben was born October 31, 1971 to Freeman and Emma Detweiler at Trenton, MO. He was a lifelong resident of the Jamesport area. Reuben worked for DJK Construction for 5 years. He was an avid rodeo fan and could be found at rodeos across the country. He took much pride in his bullriding profession and was well known for his ability to train horses. He was often referred to as the "local horse whisperer" and will be remembered for his kind and gentle way. Reuben's daughter, Amanda, was the pride and joy of his life. He will be sadly missed by family and friends. 


  Reuben was a member of the National Federation of Professional Bullriders and the Bullriders of America.


  Survivors include his parents, Freeman and Emma Detweiler, Charlotte, Mi.; his companion, Katherine Gingerich of the home; a daughter, Amanda Rose Detweiler, of the home; 5 brothers, Johnny, Henry, Robert and Toby Detweiler, Charlotte, Mi., and Andy Detweiler, Jamesport, Mo; 5 sisters, Betty Davis, Cookville, Texas, Sarah Ann Bontrager, Lee, Fl., Martha Yoder, Wichita, Ks., Katie Mae Hostetler, Jamesport, Mo., and Anna Stutzman, Clarita, Ok; and his grandfather, Tobe Detweiler, Jamesport.




Memorial contributions may be made to a trust fund set up for his daughter, Amanda, at the Home Exchange Bank in Jamesport.


Home Exchange Bank

220 S. Broadway Street

Jamesport, MO 64648





On November 30, Reuben Detweiler passed away in an auto accident near his home in Jamesport, MO. Reuben was 33 years of age and his untimely passing left behind his pride and joy Amanda Rose and his companion Katherine. 

Reuben joined the NFPB in 2001. He just missed qualifying for the finals in 2002 and finished 7th in the standings in 2003. In 2003 he also represented the NFPB in the Association Challenge. Reuben is currently ranked 23rd in the Federation Cup Standings. Detweiler served as a contestant director during the 2004 season and never missed a meeting. There was hardly an event that you didn't see Reuben at, all the way down to Monahans, TX, up to Battle Creek, MI, and over to Winston-Salem, NC. His absence will be felt tremendously.

I would like to take the opportunity to express my thoughts after knowing Reuben and attending his services which were held Saturday, December 4, in Jamesport, Missouri. While driving to the services Frank Walkowe, Tara Jackson and I talked a lot. We talked about how quiet Reuben was and the memories we have of him. He would not say a lot but what he said was worth hearing. This was one of the softest spoken men I have ever had the opportunity to meet. To say he had a lot of friends would be an understatement. I do not know the number of people that came to pay their respects and say goodbye to a friend but it was simply amazing. While standing at the grave side service in a beautiful cemetery surrounded by pasture with horses and cattle, I could not help but look around and think, look at all the people that love this man. There were people there from Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Florida that I know of. Everyone talks about the NFPB family and it was very much felt that day. While reflecting back to the night of November 30 I started thinking about something that made me proud to be a part of this group of people. Within two hours of the time of the accident friends and NFPB members from states bordering Canada to states bordering the coast all knew the tragic news. Hundreds of people knew in a course of only two to three hours.

It has been an honor and complete privilege to have had the chance to know Reuben Detweiler, to have him as a friend, representative and great role model. He was a true cowboy and champion that touched many lives in so many ways. Many times when we lose someone we only look for the good things to say. I can honestly say that this was a man that I would not say anything about now, that I would not have said about him 5 months ago. Great thoughts are all that I have of him. Thanks for being who you were Reuben. God Bless all of you and we will see you soon.

Clint Jackson



The following is an article from the St. Joseph News-Press that was published last April during the 2004 Federation Finals. It is an interview with Reuben and his traveling partner Mervin Beechy. At this time, the article now takes on a whole new meaning and we here at the NFPB office wanted to share it with everyone. 


Jamesport, Mo. natives ride in front of back yard
Sunday, April 04, 2004

For some competitors in this weekend’s National Federation of Professional Bullriders finals, it’s going to be a long ride home today — especially long to those who finish out of the money.

But win or lose, Mervin Beechy and Reuben Detweiler have a short ride back to their hometown of Jamesport, Mo. After crossing the country together during the regular season to challenge the 1,700-pound beasts, the NFPB Finals were practically in their own back yard.

Detweiler, 32, was first to begin riding, about 41/2 years ago. He got an unusually late start in this young man’s sport. Detweiler said get got involved late “because of the way I grew up,” and that he also was reluctant to take time away from his job as a horse trainer. “It’s just something that I always wanted to do, and I finally got a chance to do it.”

In fact, Detweiler said, some 22-year-olds on the NFPB circuit have more experience.

Nevertheless, those experiences intrigued Beechy, 21, who decided to enter the sport two years later.

With Beechy holding Detweiler’s 7-month-old daughter, Amanda Rose, in his arms as the lights dimmed on Civic Arena after Friday night’s show, the two cowboys seem more like family than friends.

That’s good, because they have traveled thousands of miles together this season to ease their expenses on the circuit.

“We ride together all the time — every rodeo,” Beechy said. “It’s been a lot of fun. I can’t ask for a better partner than Reuben.”

Detweiler, who entered the finals sitting fourth in the money standings — just $2,300 behind leader Ryan Clark — said the two formed their traveling partnership at the younger cowboy’s suggestion.

“He always wanted to (ride bulls) and was looking for someone to travel with, so we hooked up and went from there,” Detweiler said. “It makes it a lot better; you have more fun, and it’s cheaper on the traveling expenses.”

Bullriders and rodeo cowboys often “run together” with one or two other competitors to save on expenses. For the Jamesport duo, it also offers the opportunity to share a few suggestions along the way.

“We help each other as much as we can, but we compete against each other as much as the rest of them, so it makes it fun,” Detweiler said.

Beechy boasts his best year on the circuit, and entered the NFPB Finals sitting ninth in the money standings. He credits some of his success to his friend and partner, who closely watches each of his rides.

And Detweiler has offered suggestions.

“He’s been a lot of help,” Beechy said. “He’s shown me how to sit up on ’em, and throw my chest out. He watches me and tells me what I do wrong when I get bucked off.”

In return, Detweiler gets tips from Beechy, as well as some good conversation on the long and otherwise lonely road between stops on the NFPB circuit.

“I couldn’t ask for anybody better to run with,” Detweiler said, “so it’s been great for me.”


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