Rylee Cheyenne Miller was born October 16, 1991 to parents Bruce and Jill. Her birth was just a glimpse into the young woman she would grow up to be. Nineteen hours of labor later, Rylee arrived into this world on her own time, a healthy baby with Tweety Bird blue eyes and a beautiful head of blond hair.
Rylee was beautiful, yet tough as nails. She was bright and full of life. She was hilarious and so quick-witted that she would keep even the wittiest on their toes. Rylee had a very strong will and applied it to all aspects of her life. Her toughness and never-give-up attitude were traits that her mom admired in her.
Growing up on the ranch, Rylee could do it all: ride and rope, calve heifers and cows. She loved ranch life. It was a part of her soul. All she ever knew was being a cowgirl. Rylee was more cowboy than most cowboys. And her love for animals was captured daily.
At the age of 14, she started competing in ranch rodeos and ranch horse competitions. Rylee was the youngest to ever compete in a WRCA (Working Ranch Cowboys Association) ranch rodeo. She played softball in high school and was awarded All-League catcher.
Rylee went on to compete in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association as a member of both Fort Hays State University and Northwestern Oklahoma State University rodeo teams. She was always one of the “punchier” members, which was evident in her big hat and big spurs. They coupled her big blue eyes and big ol’ smile just right.
There was never a dull moment with Rylee. Her spirit was infectious and left an impact on all who had the opportunity to know her. She was often mimicking someone or ad-libbing movie scenes. Whatever it was, she was full of joy and laughter. She loved everyone and had a big heart for all unless they did her wrong.
Rylee was known for taking in strays, most recently her little dog Thistle. The second time she saw her running down the street, clearly homeless, she rescued her. She said she knew it was meant to be. She had Thistle until the day she was called Home.
Rylee tragically lost her life on January 14, 2013 in an automobile accident.
“Rylee was a joy to have in all of our lives,” said Jill. “We are so proud of her and blessed for our 21 years together.
“But our hearts will be forever broken. She was our heartbeat.”
Eyes as blue as the sky,
Smile as big as the sea,
A heart for all things
Wild and free.
Rylee Cheyenne, we’ll be seeing you…
Poem by Kara Hackney