Earnest “Earnie” Eugene Padilla


SALIDA — Earnie was born to Johnny and Rachel Padilla on May 23,1959 in Salida, Colo.

He was a one-of-a-kind horseman; the real deal, never afraid, and always true to himself and his lifestyle. Earnie is a great daddy, papa, one of the best and truest friends any of us could ask for. He loved his family first and worked hard to provide them with the best he could.

Earnie is known best for his ability with horses, his contagious smile and “famous” one-liners. Anyone that knew him, knew he was the best all-around trainer you could get. He had a very special natural born ability to get any horse to do what he wanted. The way he would shake his head all while stating, “I’m about to whoop somebody’s a**, you just can’t fix stupid — legally, take a deep seat and a faraway look, or it’ll be there when we get there” — all while smiling, will never be forgotten. Whether he was on the back of a bronc or leaning against the truck — he never backed down from a challenge. He loved truly and completely with every ounce of his being. 

His biggest pride was in his two daughters and all of his grand kids. He would look at them with such compassion and never missed an opportunity to brag about his girls, Sloan Padilla and Trenidy Padilla.

Earnie is survived by his dad, Johnny (Pat) Padilla; sisters, Valerie (Val), Nita and Annette; daughters, Sloan and Trenidy (Mike); granddaughters, Tori Cinch Sorenson, Riggin Monel Hardesty, Kadence Ann McWilliams and Kezley Gyling; grandsons, Keanan Eugene Herberg, Braxton McWilliams, Steston McWilliams, Tate Gyling and Jensen Gyling; his first wife and dear friend, Dorothy Padilla; Jesse Pettigrew, a one-of-a-kind friend; step-daughter, Dakota McWilliams; and stepson, Wrangler McWilliams.

He will forever be remembered and loved by his nieces, extended family and dear friends.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Rachel Padilla.

We love you bigger than the sky and will hold you close to our hearts, forever and always.

There will be a memorial roping for family and friends set at a later date.

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