Utah Vardell, 77, of Texarkana, Ark., died Tuesday, September 25, 2018, in Texarkana, Tex. Born in Puxico, Mo., he received his Bachelor’s degree from Murray State University and worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad before beginning a career with John Deere Company. He went on to own Green Line Equipment Company in Texarkana with partner Ed Wright, and retired in 2011, after 40 years in business.
Vardell, a longtime member of NCHA and friend to area horsemen and cutters, served 35 years on the Board of Directors and Rodeo Committee for the Four States Fair Association and was also a licensed auctioneer with the honorary title of “Colonel.”
Among his cutting accomplishments, Vardell, an amateur competitor, counted his 2013 and 2016 NCHA Eastern Nationals finals rides, aboard Skylines Short Stop and Ausdun Shepard, respectively, as his best, and was proud of his mare Playgirlisalena’s win for him under his close friend and trainer Brett Davis, in the 2012 AQHA Congress Futurity Open. He also bred Real Plain Jane, by Real Doc, who later produced three NCHA money earners of $236,306, and an NRCHA earner of $40,781, and CA Las Vegas Lights, winner of the 2003 APHA Derby with Jon Burgess.
Vardell is survived by his wife, Jane; son Stan Vardell and wife, Lori; daughter Vickie Steward and husband, Brian; stepson Ryan McBride; one brother, Benny Vardell; two sisters, Linda Faries and Kim Lee and husband, Bob; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of life for Utah Vardell will be held at 10:00 A.M. Friday, September 28, 2018, at the Four States Fair and Rodeo Arena with the Rev. Todd Hervey officiating. Burial will follow in Rock Springs Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5-8:00 P.M. Thursday, September 27, 2018, at Texarkana Funeral Home, Arkansas. Pallbearers are Brett Davis, Bradey Davis, Austin Shepard, Michael Cornett, Jordan Vardell, Branum Vardell, Tim Wright, and Jack McCoy. Honorary pallbearers are Ed Wright, Lynn Smith, Evan Steward, Joshua Steward, and Zach McBride.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Shriners’ Hospital for Children, 4400 Clayton Ave., St. Louis, MO 63310.