Friday, January 19, 2018

The Death of a Legend

Dusty Richards presenting Vivian Zabel with award at 2011 OWFI Conference

      Dusty Richards -- the resident OWFI, Arkansas, and national cowboy author and winner of multiple Spur awards -- died Thursday, January 18, following complications suffered in an auto accident a weeks previous.  His ever present and supportive wife Pat, with him in the accident, passed last week. 

      Dusty and Pat will be missed, but at least they are together as they always were in life. 

     I work with words everyday, whether writing or editing or reading, yet I have trouble finding the words needed to give tribute to this legend of the writing world. He mentored many authors, including me.  He attended conferences and workshops in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas, sharing his wisdom and encouragement. We all lost when Dusty Richards left this life.

     Everyone who knew Dusty has stories to tell. My favorite memories of him are of his handing out awards during the Saturday banquet at Oklahoma Writers Federation Inc. (OWFI) conferences. He enjoyed participating as much as those who received honors did.

     A talented western writer, Dusty won many awards and got to see one of his novels made into a movie. He gave the cowboy stamp to everything he wrote, bringing the words to life and giving readers a glimpse into yesteryear. 

   Although Dusty wasn't connected to 4RV Publishing, he connected to many of us associated with the company. His death leaves a hole in our lives and in our hearts. Using the words of another well-known and beloved cowboy, Happy trails to you, Dusty Richards from all of us at 4RV.


  1. So sorry for the loss of your friend, Vivian.

  2. Vivian, thanks so much for sharing your memories of this wonderful man.

  3. Condolences to the families of Dusty and Pat.

  4. I have several of Dusty Richards' books, including The Mustanger and the Lady. Quite a talent. He will be missed. Sincere condolences to his family.
    Karen Mabry Rice

  5. That is so sad. I did not know the man or his wife, but your words paint a beautiful picture of them and what they contributed to not only the writing world but the world in general. I'm sure they will be missed. Thank you for telling us the news and giving us a glimpse into his life. God bless.

  6. Sorry for Dusty's passing. May your memories of him continue to warm your heart.

    Do something he would like you to do today!

  7. Of the many years we've gone to the Ozark Writers Conference, Dusty and Pat often waved us over for lunch, or we wound up at some huge group table. It will be strange not seeing them at the table, this year.

    As Pat told us this past October, those movie folks basically took one chapter out of his book and wrote a movie about it. We haven't got to see it, due to medical stuff. I'm glad they got to see it before they left this world, though.

    They never knew a stranger. They made a person feel like an old friend, right from the start. They sure will be missed!

  8. I left a comment, but it seems to have disappeared. This is sad news. I did not know Dusty or his wife, but my prayers are with the family and you, Vivian.

  9. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend and mentor, Vivian. It's so hard to lose a loved friend. Sending hugs your way.

  10. I've left two comments, but they've never shown up. It was through the link in the email so AOL is probably the culprit.
    Anyhow, I am so sorry to hear this. I did not know the author or his wife, but they sound like wonderful people. Prayers to the family.