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Life-long cowboy remembered for roping and being a gentle giant

By JR Ortega
Sept. 4, 2010 at 4:04 a.m.

Pallbearers begin the funeral procession of Edward Quinn Love Sr. The longtime cowboy's life was honored at the John L. O'Brien Arena in Refugio.

Pallbearers begin the funeral procession of Edward Quinn Love Sr. The longtime cowboy's life was honored at the John L. O'Brien Arena in Refugio.

REFUGIO - Edward Quinn Love Sr. entered, lived and left this world the only manner he knew how - the cowboy way.

Friends and family celebrated the 92-year-old's life with a fitting cowboy funeral at the O'Brien Arena in Refugio on Saturday.

About 100 people attended the funeral.

"He never changed," said Antonio Aguirre, Austwell-Tivoli School District superintendent. "He was a gentle giant."

Love's main duty was to work the cafeteria, but he worked odds and ends at the school district for the past 40 years up until August, Aguirre said.

The attire Saturday for those attending the service was white, long-sleeved button-up shirts, straight-legged blue jeans, cowboy boots and a hat to top it off.

At the start of the funeral celebration, eight horses ridden by the pallbearers entered the arena.

One horse, his horse, Christmas, was without a rider.

The horse was Love's pride and joy.

At the center, a black cowboy hat, cowboy boots and a Holy Bible laid on or near Love's casket.

Those three elements were a part of who Love was.

Love was born and raised on Fox Ranch in Refugio and was a cowhand and foreman at the Fagan ranch also in Refugio County growing up.

Between the 1940s and 1990s, Love worked as a tie-down roper, team roper and break-away roper.

His passion was evident.

He was a featured cowboy in the book "Cryin' for Daylight - A Ranching Culture in the Texas Coastal Bend" and also "Tales from the San'tone River Bottom," by Louise S. O'Connor.

Love's daughter, JoPatric Love of Virginia, said her father was a true cowboy.

She remembers spending days at the arena as a child while her father roped.

"He was such a kind, loving person," she said as she fought back tears. "People had so much respect for him."

Also close to Love was L. Oscar Perez, who was practically raised by him.

When Perez was 8 years old, his father passed away, and Love began raising Perez as his own.

"He was more of a dad to me," said the now 47-year-old. "He was around my whole life. He was at my wedding. We broke a lot of horses together."

Perez, who lives in Westhoff, learned to ride horses from Love, he said.

Love, worked at the school up until his last month, Aguirre said.

The future students at the school will only know about the hometown legacy Love left behind, he added.

"It's just the fact that he was there," Aguirre said.

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