In the community

Obituaries from the Enterprise, week of November 10, 2023: Pete Yruegas

Pete Yruegas

Oct. 1, 1938 – Nov. 6, 2023

Pete Yruegas, known to many as the Rusty Cowboy and Cowboy Pete, was born on October 1, 1938, in Lampazoz, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and he departed from this world on November 6, 2023, in Nyssa, Oregon. Pete was a dedicated husband of 41 years to the love of his life, Bette Jane Dickman, and a beloved father to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Pete’s life was a testament to his generous spirit and love for his family and community. His nickname, the Rusty Cowboy, reflected his passion for fishing, hunting, and horseback riding. He shared not only his interests but also his food, home, and love generously with those around him.

Pete’s love story with Bette Jane began with a cheeky prank and an unexpected kiss, and it evolved into a remarkable 41-year marriage filled with enduring love and happiness. Together, they weathered the challenges of being one of the first biracial couples in their community, demonstrating the power of love to overcome adversity.

From 1969 to 1999, Pete worked as a foreman at the Amalgamated Sugar Company, contributing his hard work and dedication to his profession.

To honor Pete’s memory and his passionate commitment to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, the family has established the Pete Yruegas Memorial Fund. Donations in his name can be made to support this meaningful cause (

Pete’s Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, November 12, at 10 a.m. at 1289 SE 2nd St., Ontario, Oregon. The event promises to be a reflection of Pete’s colorful life and his love for Western culture, so attendees are encouraged to wear their best western or cowboy attire. Pete’s favorite foods, including Carne Asada, Borracho Beans, Mom’s Mexican Rice, and Potato Salad, will be served, providing a taste of his cherished flavors.

In addition to the Celebration of Life, friends and family are invited to visit Pete’s memorial website ( to share stories and pictures that honor his legacy. For those who wish to send floral tributes, arrangements can be made through Nyssa Floral at 541-372-3437.

Pete Yruegas was not only a loving husband, father, and grandfather but also a pillar of strength and resilience in the face of life’s challenges. He and Bette’s legacy of love and care for the community will be remembered and cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing them.

He is survived by his children, Patricia Gzik, James Peter Yruegas, Jennifer Elaine Yruegas, and Luna (Alexis) Jane Yruegas, his granddaughter who was his main caregiver in his last years and who he raised like a daughter. Pete had many grandchildren: Amanda Gzik, Ralph Gzik, Bethany Gzik, Jasmine Yruegas, Bette K. Yruegas, Hannah Gzik, James Peter Yruegas Jr., Troy Gzik, Jacob Yruegas, Luna Yruegas, Cristian Diaz, Grant Gzik Logan Hopkins, Andrew Diaz, and great-grandchildren: Kayla Gzik, Liliana Yruegas and Colt Gzik.


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