Frank Paz was born in Alamogordo, NM. He was raised on the Mescalero Apache Reservation until the age of 10 when his family moved to Roy, WA. Frank began his rodeo career by breaking horses on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. Frank was a three-event hand and qualified for the Indian National Finals Rodeo in the Bareback, Saddle Bronc, and Steer Wrestling events in his 30-plus year career as a rodeo hand. Frank was a brother-in-law of the Real Bird Bucking Horse owners: Richard, Henry, Kennard and Jim. In 1997, Frank was the All-Around Champion Cowboy at Crow Fair and in 2005, he was also the All-Around Champion Cowboy at San Carlos Veterans Memorial Fair and at the 43rd Annual Mul-Chu-Tha All Indian Rodeo in Sells, AZ. Some of his other championships include the 1993 San Carlos Veterans Memorial Fair in Bareback and Saddle Bronc, the 2004 Shoshone-Bannock Festival Champion Bareback Rider, the 1997 Tsuu-T’ina Nation Rodeo Champion in Alberta, Canada, for Bareback and Saddle Bronc, and the Spring Round-up Rodeo Champion Steer Wrestler. In 1994 Frank was the Reserve Indian World Champion Bareback Rider at the INFR in Rapid City, SD. Frank made the first qualified ride on the Burch Brothers famous horse, Blood Brother, in Ridge, MT, in 1997. Blood Brother would go on to become the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bucking horse of the year in 2008. Frank held memberships in the PRCA, Western States, Rocky Mountain, and Southwest All-Indian Rodeo Associations. He was a member of the Piegan Clan and child of the Whistling Water.
Survivors include his wife, Lark; his daughter Jordynn; his son Milo; his mother, Margaret Paz; four sisters, Carol Dittbenner, Cecelia, Henrietta and Linda Paz; his brother Ben and his adopted mother Aileen Covers Up; adopted siblings Terrence, Tracy and Arbutis Covers Up.
He started his lifelong career path in carpentry by working for the railroad. With over 20 years experience, Frank was well-known as a hard working man and member of the Carpenters and Millwrights Union Local 1172. He was called upon by many to enlist his skills of: carpentry, roofing, flooring, masonry, ranch hand, and as a farrier. Frank was never known to turn down a job.
Frank was extremely generous with his prizes and often shared his buckles and championship jackets from his rodeos. His generosity did not end with his prizes. He once gave away a horse to Lark’s adopted sister’s son and delivered it to Oklahoma. Frank was always ready to lend a hand to a friend and never passed a broken down car without stopping to help. He was always there for his family. He never missed a chance to watch Lark and Jordynn dance or attend and support Milo’s sporting events. It’s just the kind of man he was. You would be hard pressed to find someone whose life was not enriched and made better by Frank Paz.
Rosary was recited 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, in the St. Dennis Catholic Church. Funeral mass was celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, in the Crow Agency, St. Dennis Catholic Church. Interment followed in the Fairview Cemetery.