APHA Past President Junior Robertson of Waurika, Oklahoma, died May 20, 2018, at age 87. Junior was a founding member of the American Paint Stock Horse Association, which later gave rise to APHA, and was among the first inductees to APHA’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
Born September 2, 1930, in Wirt, Oklahoma, to Lee Morgan and Leola Sally Robertson, Lee “Junior” Robertson was the baby of his family. He married Bennie Ruth Bennett on July 29, 1950, and the couple had five children.
A gold-card carrying member of the Rodeo Cowboy Association, Junior was a top hand at roping and even participated as part of a 1958 U.S. exhibition rodeo team with Gene Autry in Havana, Cuba. Athletic, flashy horses became his calling card, and his played a leading role in fostering the development of APHA. Among his two most impactful horses were Wahoo King and Mister J. Bar, both of whom were inducted into the APHA Hall of Fame. Junior served as APHA president in 1976 and 1977.
“Junior was not a perfect man—as none of us are—but he left a huge footprint in the lives of all who knew him. He never said a bad word about another man, he lived life with passion and taught his children to love the Lord, to live life without regret—letting go of the past—and to tell a good story because laughing is good for the soul … and one other thing—to always have a dog at your side,” daughter Loyce Lee Alligood wrote.
Junior is survived by Bennie Ruth; children Loyce Lee Alligood, Sue Sarratt and Dru Robertson; grandchildren Morgan Brett Gandy, Lee Sarratt, Courtney Pallfreeman, Brian Dru Robertson, Dana Ehtisham, Aaron Paul and Lisa Robertson; and 25 great-grandchildren.
The funeral service is planned for Wednesday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Waurika. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Junior’s honor to the First Baptist Church of Waurika.
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The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.