Earl Wayne Reese
November 21, 1944 - October 29, 2023
Longtime Wellborn 2R Ranch Manager Earl Wayne Reese closed his last gate Sunday, October 29, and headed for greener pastures. Reese, 78, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends.
Earl Wayne was the manager of the 2R Ranch for 50 years, taking the reins after his father D.E. Reese retired from the position. He began his career when Robert and Ruby Priddy owned the Ranch and ranch historic Herefords. The Herefords were originally brought to the ranch by the Ikard brothers in the 1870s and were the first Herefords in the state of Texas.
Earl Wayne had a keen eye for genetics and slowly added Angus cattle to the herd. He eventually transitioned the whole ranch to Angus cattle, with high quality registered bulls and commercial cows (unregistered).
When Chris and Joan Wellborn purchased the 2R Ranch they retained Earl Wayne as the manager. He oversaw the day-to-day operations, managing grazing conditions, leading the cattle gatherings and brandings and selecting key seedstock for their Angus operation. He helped elevate the ranch's cattle genetics program to eventually create the Wellborn 2R Beef brand, a premium quality and highly sought after all-natural beef product.
Through his many years in the saddle, Reese hired some top-notch, world famous cowboys to help with weaning and branding. Ty Murray and his then wife, Jewel, helped Earl Wayne drag calves at branding time. Other hall-of-fame bull riders and cowboys are Cody Lambert, Ross Coleman, Justin McBride and Jim Sharp. Cody and Ross have been consistently helping at the ranch for over 20 years. In return, Earl Wayne enjoyed going to watch PBR Bull Ridings they were riding or coaching in. Cody is co-founder of the PBR and serves as Executive Vice President, but one of his favorite places to be was in the pasture or branding pen alongside Earl Wayne. AQHA Super Horse and World Champion Chris Littlefield has also been a regular at the Wellborn 2R Ranch at the request of Earl Wayne. All of these cowboys appreciated Earl Wayne's sincere desire to keep the cowboy traditions alive in every way - with horseback cowboys tending to cattle in the most caring way possible.
Earl Wayne extended his cowboy skills into other hobbies as well, including fishing, singing cowboy songs and metal work to create cowboy bits and spurs. His bits and spurs were in high demand by many local cowboys.
Earl Wayne was well known for his sense of humor. But he was also known as a great friend. He was a great cowboy, mentor, and encourager.
Earl Wayne was a cowboy's cowboy and a rare breed even in a cowboy state as big as Texas. He leaves behind a rich legacy in ranching traditions, cattle genetics, cowboy mentoring and friendship. We are blessed that Earl Wayne left such a legacy with the Wellborn 2R Ranch and we are proud that he chose our trails to travel. We will see you on the other side Earl Wayne!