The Legend of a Cowboy Lives On
Allan Crawford Gorbett Jr. “ACE” was born on July 18, 1949 in Ft. Worth, Texas to Eulalie Williams and Allan Crawford Gorbett Sr. (Teenie). This indelible character was a true definition of a cowboy, rarely seen without his horse, dog, or a beer in his hand. He didn’t start out this way though. This rough and tough man was not born a cowboy, but made through sheer grit and determination. He grew up in Ft. Worth with his loving mother and 4 beautiful sisters. His dad was a hard man and even harder on young Allan. His one true dream was to own a horse and become a cowboy. He escaped into adventurous tales of legendary cowboys and garnered his knowledge of horses in books before he ever stepped into a saddle. That dream became a reality when he got his first horse, a saddlebred mare named Star, when he was 10 years old. They didn’t have a truck, trailer, or even a saddle. He rode that beloved mare bareback all over, across the Trinity River and even to school. He learned about horses and horsemanship not by example, but through experience. This cowboy in the making graduated from Castleberry High School in 1967. He attended Tarrant County Jr. College until the call of the wild took him to Canada to teach English riding lessons at an equestrian academy. For several summers he made the journey up North, and on the last trip, he ventured out for more excitement by hitchhiking the 1700 mile trip with his friend and faithful sidekick, Melvin Denney.
This was just one of countless stories that told of quest for adventure; others included a stint in Colorado as a guide and wrangler, a camp cowboy in Ruidoso, and Farrier School at New Mexico State. He even worked for the Bureau of Land Management catching wild mustangs on a Mescalero Indian Reservation. When he rolled into the Merkel, Texas area in the late 1970s he had several of these amazing little horses and continued to hone his breaking and training skills. Punching a timeclock, and the 9 to 5 grind was never part of his plan. He was a carpenter, a horse shoer, rode feedlots, and managed ranches across Texas.
He met and married Patricia Boyd and they had two daughters, Laramie and Blair, whom he passed on his love and knowledge of horses, his quick wit, determination and self-reliance. He made many good friends along the way, and was a mentor to many young cowboys. He was quick to temper, especially working cattle, but he loved to laugh and was a gifted storyteller. He didn’t mince words and was honest to a fault. You never had to guess where you stood with Ace. He was a man from a different era. He drove old trucks, rolled his own cigarettes, shot pool, broke hearts, and got into more than a few brawls. He cared more about a good working dog and a horse with a handle than he cared about money or status.
Ace died on May 10, 2019 from cancer at his home in Merkel. He was 69 years old. He lived a full life, becoming that cowboy that he dreamed about as a little boy. He also left behind loyal friends and family that loved him including his sisters: Sandra Parker (Fort Worth), Glenda and Jerry Ball (Fort Worth), Nancy and Allen Stillwell (Weatherford), Liz and Ricky Davenport (Loving), daughters: Laramie Gorbett and Emmanuel Begueret (Austin), Blair and Dr. Trent Dozier (Merkel) and Peyton Boyd (whom he loved like his own) as well as nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
Please join us in celebrating Ace’s life on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 6:00 PM. The festivities will be held at the Tin Cup Country Club Pavilion at 1108 FM 126, Merkel,TX 79536. We will be serving BBQ and raising a glass to the one and only, Ace Gorbett.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Allan "Ace" Crawford Gorbett, Jr, please visit our floral store.