COLUMBIA — David Baurichter was a sensitive, caring and passionate man, but hid it behind his humor, Gayle Epple said.
"One of his faults was that he always wanted to make others happy, put others ahead of him in life," Epple said.
Loren David Baurichter II died Friday, June 14, 2013. He was 57.
Epple was Mr. Baurichter's significant other, though they always referred to each other as husband and wife.
"The boys in the rodeo always came before me," Epple said. "But that was OK, because it was his passion."
Mr. Baurichter was a cowboy. He was born Jan. 20, 1956, in Boone County to L.D. Baurichter and Ada Margaret Vanlandingham of Columbia. He grew up south of Columbia on the Baurichter Polled Hereford Farm and was responsible for the breeding program. His grandfather started the Baurichter herd in 1917.
Mr. Baurichter graduated from Rock Bridge High School in 1974. Throughout high school, he showed cattle and won awards. Once, he had a grand champion at the state fair.
After high school, he moved around the country, managing show herds on cattle ranches, helping breed, groom and eventually show the cattle. While moving from ranch to ranch, he lived in Kentucky, Kansas, Mississippi, Maryland and Wisconsin.
Sons and students
"Rodeo was something he felt he could do with his sons on weekends to help them develop and grow," Epple said.
His older son, Forrest Baurichter, 22, began competing in the rodeo in kindergarten with friend Jermaine Burnett. Kaleb Baurichter, 20, the younger son, followed soon after.
Besides working with his sons, Mr. Baurichter devoted time and talent to instruct other young boys on riding bulls, saddle bronc and bareback.
"He would sit for hours and watch videos of professional riders, so he would know what to teach his boys," Epple said.
Tyler Davidson was one of Mr. Baurichter's success stories. Davidson met Forrest Baurichter and his father at a rodeo when they were in school, Davidson said.
"David helped me and taught me everything I know about rodeo," Davidson said. "When he was teaching me, I would sit there and listen, and quietly try to make sense of what he said. He was always finding ways to help me get better."
Davidson's favorite memory was at an event at Midway, near Columbia.
"It was the second horse I'd ever been on," Davidson said. "I did what I was supposed to do, but then I got hung up like a rag doll on the side of the horse. When I got done, the first thing David said to me was, 'Are you ready to do it again?' I said 'yes.' 'Good answer.' "
Davidson, 25, still competes in bareback riding. He's part of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association and is ranked fifth in the state.
"David can take all the credit," Davidson said.
"We met in 2000," Epple said. "My first impression was he's a scruffy cowboy, but damn, I bet he can clean up good."
Epple and Mr. Baurichter have been together ever since.
"He has brought me 13 years of love and pleasure," Epple said. "Enjoyment."
For 13 years, Mr. Baurichter brought Epple a cup of coffee every morning. He would leave it on the bathroom counter so she could wake up.
"I'll miss my cup of coffee," Epple said.
If the couple dressed up to go anywhere, Mr. Baurichter would wear his boots, blue jeans, western shirt, belt buckle and his cowboy hat, Epple said. He was a cowboy.
"The bus is leaving, if you're coming with me get on," Epple would tell Mr. Baurichter every time he would stop to talk to someone when they were leaving somewhere.
Mr. Baurichter was anything but quiet. Epple said he was always making a joke or pulling a prank.
A memorable practical joke came from a summer when there were a lot of squirrels in their yard. One neighbor would feed the squirrels while the other would set traps to get rid of them. At the end of the year, on Christmas, Mr. Baurichter found a squirrel figurine and put it on the neighbor's porch to wake up to in the morning.
"The next day, we had a gift bag on our porch," Epple said. "It was green and red boxer shorts with jingle bells on the legs. He passed them on to Tyler Davidson as a gift."
"He was a crazy old man," said Mr. Baurichter's grandson, Jordan.
Mr. Baurichter is survived by his two sons, Forrest D. and Kaleb M. Baurichter of Columbia; his father, L.D. Baurichter and wife, Mary; three sisters, his twin sister Diann Baurichter of Boonville, Martha Baurichter of Columbia and Mary Zipkin of Canaan, Conn.; two brothers, Bob and Michael Zipkin of Canaan, Conn.; his loving companion, Gayle S. Epple; two stepdaughters, Sandi Epple and Deborah Hurley; and six grandchildren, Brooke, Jordan, William, Dylan, Hunter and Drake.
His mother, Ada Vanlandingham Zipkin, stepfather, Michael G. Zipkin, and stepmother, Annie Douglass Baurichter, died earlier.
Visitation was held at 5 p.m. Monday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Memorial Park Cemetery.