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Leo Vincent Cowboy

Feb 7, 2013 - Staff

Leo Vincent Cowboy, aka Bear, Sonny Bear, Vinny or Shorty, died Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, in Salt Lake City, following a lengthy illness. He was 43 years old.

He was born July 25, 1969, in Gallup, N.M., the first child of Leo and Mary Cowboy.

He was an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and a member of the Northern Arapaho Nation.

Before moving to Wyoming, he attended boarding school and public school in Crownpoint, N.M. He attended Mill Creek Elementary School and graduated from Lander Valley High School when he was 17. He furthered his education at Central Wyoming College, earning his a degree in art. He recently returned to Central Wyoming College, earning a certificate in information technology.

After graduating from college, he was employed by Lander Valley High School as a teacher assistant, where he helped at-risk students and formed lifetime friendships with students and colleagues.

As a competitive multi-sport athlete in high school, Mr. Cowboy was a natural fit on the coaching staff of the football, wrestling and track and field teams during his tenure in the 1990s.

He also worked for Indian Health Service at Fort Washakie, as a contract health representative. He also worked for the Department of Family Services in Riverton. His last place of employment, before and during his illness, was as an IT Specialist at the Northern Arapaho Nation Department of Social Services.

His family said he was a generous, gregarious man with a soft-spoken demeanor and adventurous spirit who enjoyed pets, mountain biking, spending time with his family, making friends, playing pool and raising dogs.

Mr. Cowboy was an altar boy and a confirmed Catholic. He was versed in the traditional Arapaho ways.

His family said he cared for the well being of his mother and father, and he loved his nieces and nephews and always wanted to know about their well-being.

He is survived by his wife, Elsa St. Clair-Cowboy; mother Mary Cowboy; brothers Spencer Cowboy, Pierce Cowboy and children, Nizhoni Cinder Cowboy, Santo Cruz Cowboy and Noah Lex Cowboy; sisters Bernita Cowboy and children, Ardis Cowboy, Jae (Vito) Cowboy, Torri Cowboy, Eli Geboe and Leoda Cowboy, John Abeyta and Adam Lujan; son Hunter Lujan and Linda Cowboy and TeJay Whatley; daughter Jaslyn Cowboy-Whatley; adopted brothers Lyndrith (Hooter) Ware, Luke Bell and Darrel Bell. He is also survived by Ed Shakespeare Jr., Loren Stan Shakespeare, Alvenita Shakespeare and family, George Shakespeare Jr., Regional Shakespeare, Rodrick Shakespeare, Elsie June and Jude Charging Crow and family, Sandra and Howard Paulson and family, Ramona Shakespeare and family, Stanford Shakespeare, Francine R. Shakespeare and family and Luke and Darrell Bell, all of Wyoming; Alvina Headley and Rita and Daniel Martin of Arizona; Ann Jeff, Samuel Jeff and Tommy Cowboy of Crownpoint, N.M.; Martha and Roger Brown and Emerson Billy of Albuquerque, N.M.; Irene Hoycott and Joree and Sage Hoycott of Denver; and Deanna and Brandon Guthrie, Ryan Stoney and Sadie Cowboy of Salt Lake City.

He was preceded in death by his father, Leo; brother Lex; grandparents Tom and Nora (Martin) Cowboy and Adam and Elsie (Headley) Shakespeare.

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