William Stewart “Bill” Fraser, 81, a lifelong cowboy and adventurer, rode peacefully into the sunset on April 6, 2022. He was at his home in Vaughn, surrounded by family and his dog, Missy. Born on New Year’s Day in 1941 in Bozeman to parents Daniel and Margaret (Tremper) Fraser, Bill spent his childhood on ranches throughout Montana where his father managed them for the Fraser Land and Cattle Company.
He attended Montana State University on a rodeo scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science in 1965. Bill’s passion for education and rodeo ultimately led to him earning a Master’s Degree in Animal Science from Oregon State University in 1969. While working on his master’s degree, Bill taught at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon, and he started their rodeo team in 1968.
He lived overseas for many years, representing IMC Global in South Africa, managing the agricultural interests for a sheik in Saudi Arabia, and teaching animal husbandry techniques to the Kazakh people throughout Russia and Mongolia. His business experience varied from working with large institutions like Monfort’s and Conagra to being the Vice President of Arizona Feeds, to owning a safari company in Johannesburg, South Africa. After many decades, he returned to the US to semi-retire and run the dude ranch for the Ojai Valley Inn in California.
At long last, he returned to his Montana home in 2010 and took up residence across the fence from his brother Bud in Vaughn, designing and building his Casa del Vaquero or “cowboy condo” as he liked to call it. He enjoyed going to rodeos or watching PBR bull riding, and would often load his dog Missy up on his quad and take her for a ride.
Though he married and divorced twice, he remained on good terms with both of his ex-spouses throughout his life. He is survived and mourned by a large group of family and friends who love him dearly. To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the O'Connor Funeral Home website.