This is How the Cowboy Rode Away
“Tyrell, Tyrell, Tyrell” was how most of Ty’s reports from his teachers and coaches began…
Tyrell Rosaire Bates was born on April 21, 1985 in Williams Lake, BC to a single-mom and with an older brother, Matt. He came into the world with gusto and that never changed. From an early age, Tyrell, although very independent, made it clear that he was his Kye7e’s (Grandmother’s) boy. Throughout his life, he spent every chance he got with his Kye7e.
Tyrell’s favorite thing to do as a little boy was play “rodeo” and ride horseback with his brothers and mom. Almost as soon as he could talk he made it clear that when he grew up he was going to be a bull rider. His idols were his Uncle Wes’ bull riding friends.
After four years in Williams Lake, Ty and his family resided in UBC and Victoria for two years each before settling in Kamloops when Tyrell was going into grade three. School was challenging for him because he was restless and didn’t like taking direction. He preferred to have fun. Therefore, only a few of his teachers captured and directed his attention.
When Tyrell was ten he was carded as a goalie in the Kamloops AAA Minor Hockey League. He loved the challenge of keeping the puck out of his net and socializing in the dressing room – always the last guy out. His passion waned for hockey when he was in his mid teens. Then his interest shifted to snow boarding with his high school friends and he was on the black diamonds and in the trees every chance he got. In the summer, before his mom finally agreed to let him and his brother “rodeo” he played competitive soccer until he discovered lacrosse.
After Ty’s mom relented, Ty and his brother went to a steer riding school and they competed in rodeos throughout BC. They were the only home in Aberdeen that had a bucking barrel in the back yard. Tyrell quit lacrosse in grade ten and joined the BC High School Rodeo Association. Along the way he made countless life-long rodeo friends. Competing in bull riding was his passion and that passion never changed. The only time he wasn’t competing was when he had an injury.
Ty always had fun and surrounded himself with like-minded, fun loving dare devil friends and family. This made it challenging for those who loved him.
After spending most of his adult years working in the oil fields, a few years ago Ty decided that he needed to be more responsible and change his lifestyle. He reached out to his childhood bull riding mentor and spent a year with him regrouping and refocusing.
Once he felt better, Tyrell met Jess, the love of his life and reconnected with his adorable children, Aliannah (8) and Wyatt (6). Ty and Jess spent a weekend with Ali and Wyatt and staged the best birthday party ever for them in November.
During his period of healing Tyrell accepted that he was getting too old to ride bulls and he shifted from bull riding to bull fighting. He and Jess began to save money and build a string of bucking bulls of their own. He also started horseback riding again, something he hadn’t done much of since childhood.
On Christmas morning he proposed to Jess on bended knee using his Kye7e’s eternity ring from his Pe7e (grandfather) and in front of her parents.
Ty passed away at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta on January 8, 2021 at the age of 35 years.
When we last saw him he was the happiest his friends and family had ever seen him. He died surrounded by his three brothers, Matt, Colton and Zack, his fiancé, Jess, and his mom, DeDe with his step dad, Allan and “little sister” Montana waiting outside the hospital. Friends and family called to tell him they loved him, reminisce, and play his favorite music. Ty’s Kye7e and her close friends FaceTimed to pray and sing to him in Secwepemc and Tsilhqut’in and an Inuit elder came to pray for him in Inuktatuck.
This is how the cowboy rode away…
Tyrell’s friends and family would like to thank the staff at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta.
At Ali and Wyatt’s request, a funeral will be held for their Dad when the pandemic is over.