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Rodeo photographer, Western legend Louise Serpa dead at 86

From the archive: Rodeo photographer, Tucson fixture, mother and legend of the West Louise Serpa died Thursday. There are a lot of things I wish I had the chance to say to Louise before she mounted up and rode out into the ether.
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6 comments on this story

Jan 5, 2012, 5:14 pm
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So sorry to hear about Louise’s death, but what a life she led! How fortunate I feel to have been able to meet her and hang out with her and Lauren on several occasions. RIP, Louise. My condolences to Lauren and the rest of the family.

Jan 5, 2012, 5:18 pm
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Not to take anything away from this article, which is great, but here’s what I wrote about Louise years ago for a mythical newspaper known as the Tucson Citizen:

Jan 5, 2012, 9:17 pm
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When you hear the term all-around, you think of someone who wins in all rodeo events…Louise was an all-around…in every aspect of life…Mother, mentor, friend, Vassar Grad, USO singer, photographer, author..whatever she did she did full out…she touched so many people…and each was made better by knowing her…if even for a few small moments in time…She was one of a kind.. First female photographer to shoot in the ring at the Dublin horse show…first female photographer permitted on the course of the Grand National Steeplechase in England..and first Female photographer given a press card from the Rodeo Cowboy Association and allowed in the arena… Full out and on her own terms…that is how Louise rode through life

Prayers of strength and healing go out to Mia and the rest of the family. Just remember she is never more thana heartbeat and a whisper away

Jan 6, 2012, 9:03 am
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I was thinking of all sorts of things to say but the best I can come up with is good bye my sweet friend. You gave it a hell of a ride and the world is a better place because of you. Louise took me in as her surrogate son my senior year of high school and helped me through a difficult time in my life.God rest your soul Louise. My prayers are with Mia and Lauren in this difficult and challenging time.

Jan 6, 2012, 7:09 pm
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I didn’t know her, but it sounds as if I missed out on a hell of a person. My condolences on the loss.

Jan 17, 2012, 6:51 am
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I worked for Louise and she was my absolute favorite! Before Louise was diagnosed with cancer she would work right along with me, and often would wear me out! She was the toughest lady i’ve ever met. I’m so blessed to have known her I’ll miss seeing her every friday. I was “the help” but she never treated me any differant than anyone she knew, she was there for me anytime i needed her, she was my friend! I’ll miss you Louise and cherish the time we had together. love you ! Bobby G

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