Thomas (Tom) A. Houk


RENO, Nev. –Tom (aka Cowboy Tom) went to the big rodeo in the sky the night of Oct. 2, 2020.  He’s had heart problems since being a child, but it is still sad to lose him at a young 79.  His partner, Miss Maggie, said the next rodeo will be lonesome without him. 

No formal remembrance is planned due to COVID, but please keep him and the family in your prayers. The Neptune Society assisted the family with cremation.
Memorials can be made to the Special Kids Rodeo, make checks payable to Reno Rodeo and mark Special Kids Rodeo on the bottom of the check, Reno Rodeo - PO Box 12335, Reno,Nev. 89510.

Tom was born Sept. 11, 1941 to Barbara Raye Burgoon and Willis Arthur Houk, in Wheatland. Tom attended school in Wheatland, Hawk Springs and Torrington, graduating in 1959.

Tom’s life was spent doing many things, from rodeoing, owning restaurants, the Coop in Douglas and the Dude in Loveland, selling insurance for Farm Bureau, and being TaxmanTom. Cowboy Tom and Miss Maggie have spent the last 19 years being the faces of Bonanza Casino, best known for driving the casinos Cadillac in various parades. They have also spent 19 years actively involved in the Reno Rodeo. Everyone has been commenting about his warm personality, he always had a smile and a kind word for everyone, and his stories, he had a few to tell. 

Tom is survived by his dear, loving friend forever, Maggie, Nevada; brothers, Joe, Torrington, Paul, Fla., and sister Carol Brothwell, his children, Mike (Shanna) Smith, Lingle; Teri (Mark) Shinost, Torrington and Misti (James) Newby of Idaho, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, his Dad in 1981, his mother in 2009, sisters’ Judy (1973); Marjorie Grover (2013) and brothers, David (1994) and Frank (2017). 

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