Eaton family’s cattle drive tradition honoring the man who started it all

KITTITAS COUNTY, WA – Jack Eaton started his family’s cattle drive tradition 73 years ago. Every year, they would take their cattle through the Yakima Canyon to their ranch.

Jack died just six months ago.

Hundreds of people came to watch the 200 cows take over the highway, but only a few Eaton family members were there.

“It’s just hard without him here,” said one great-granddaughter, Adyson Nierman, as she wiped tears from her face.

Adyson got to ride with her great grandpa’s old cowboy boots. She said it felt like he was still with her.

“To be able to do this for him means a lot,” said her sister, Hannah Nierman.

For years, Hannah watched from the sidelines but decided to ride with her sister this year.

Their mom, Nikki Nierman, said she was proud they could be there in remembrance of her grandpa.

“I’m just thanking him, thanking him for carrying the family and being an amazing man the kids can look up to,” said Nikki.

Jack’s wife of 75 years, Beneitta Eaton, said she couldn’t hold it together if she went. She said she knew how much Jack meant to the family.

“They all have a love for the ranch and respect their grandpa so it’s a real privilege to have them want to it and not be told to do it,” said Beneitta.

She sat at home, reminiscing her family’s tradition with Jack by her side. Holding back tears, she said she’s lucky to have the family they built together.

“Our lives meant a lot to each other and I think that’s what built the love and all with the whole family,” said Beneitta.

Her ranch’s sign reads ‘it is our prayer that God go with you till we meet again,’ as it blows in the wind.

The family said they hope this tradition lives on past Jack Eaton.

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Article Source: Fox 11