'The Tabasco Man,' cowboy poet Stan Tixier, dies at 85

Thursday , December 28, 2017 - 5:00 AM

JANAE FRANCIS, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — A man remembered for wearing a holster filled with Tabasco Sauce while reciting cowboy rhymes died in his sleep Dec. 23 from heart disease. 

A noted cowboy poet sometimes called “The Tabasco Man,” Stan Tixier, 85, assisted in the organizing of a number of Northern Utah cowboy poetry gatherings and an annual April Cowboy Poetry Week in Weber County libraries.

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He retired in 1991 as Region 4 intermountain regional forester with the U.S. Forest Service, said his associates.

He also was an instigator in the naming of Floyd Iverson Ridge near Mt. Ogden, they said.

“Stan Tixier was one of the most extraordinary people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing,” said Lisa Stubblefield, a Western musician with the group Coyote Moon. “He and his wife, Jan (Janice),  traveled around the Western states sharing his stories with his many fans, and when Stan stepped on stage, fun or serious, you knew you were going to be entertained.”

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Tixier was a regular on the Utah Performing Arts Tour and the Weber State University Storytelling Festival, according to reports. His poem “Spurs” was featured as the cover poem on the 2008 Western Horseman Calendar.

“He was one of the best cowboy poets I’ve ever known,” Western musician Robyn Arnold said. “He’s going to leave a big hole. He was always willing to go the extra mile to make sure things happened.”

Arnold remembers Tixier’s major efforts as a member of Cowboy Poets of Utah to assure there were shows in which cowboy poets and musicians could perform.

Tixier took the microphone Dec. 4, performing a Christmas poem about the donkey who carried unborn Jesus into Bethlehem, while Arnold was performing at a rehabilitation center where Tixier was recovering from a pacemaker surgery, Arnold said. 

“Even though he was a little frail and into his recovery, he was still willing to share his poetry and brighten people’s day,” Arnold said. 

Shortly before he died, Tixier moved from his home in Eden to a retirement home in Ogden.

“Stan was a real ram-rod,” said Wes Carlson, a retired U.S. Forest Service manager, about Tixier’s involvement with the Society of American Foresters and the Society for Range Management, where he was a former national president.

Speaking about the naming of Floyd Iverson Ridge, Carlson said Tixier knew when someone was worthy of recognition and was talented at convincing others.

Iverson was regional forester before Tixier, Carlson said. 

Up until his death, he continued his involvement in recognizing rangers for exceptionalism, according to those close to him.

Don Nebeker, a former supervisor of Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest who also retired in 1991, said Tixier ran the U.S. Forest Service local region with high standards of communication and innovation.

Tixier was efficient at keeping area entities informed about all Forest Service operations and kept fire hazards to a minimum through following innovative techniques, Nebeker said.

According to his obituary, while serving as regional forester, Tixier also served as the first chairman of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

Tixier also was known for raising Missouri Fox Trotting horses and often was an announcer at area breed horse shows, Nebeker said.

His cowboy poetry led to many awards. He was named as “Cowboy Idol” at a 2011 competition in Kennewick, Washington, Arnold said.

He wrote three novels titled “Green Underwear,” “A Badge with a Tree,” and “Riptide.” He produced CDs with the same titles plus “The Best Lookin' Horse” and “An Average Lookin' Mule.”

He supported Friends of the Kaibab Squirrel and St. Florence Catholic Church in Huntsville.

A viewing is planned for 5-7 p.m., followed by a Rosary with an open mic Thursday, Dec. 28, at Myers Mortuary, 5865 S. 1900 West in Roy.

A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 29, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 514 24th St. in Ogden, according to his obituary.

You can reach reporter JaNae Francis at jfrancis@standard.net or 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/SEJaNaeFrancis.

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