For so long just the mention of your name has brought on sucha deep sadness in me I haven't been able to tell you and everyone else how much I love you. For over 20 years if onlyby marriage you werefirst a quiet stranger, then a friend and in 1994 finally mybrother. You always took such goodcare of me if your brother was away and we would of course be out. You always sat quietly in the corner just watching and if anyone decided to get fresh you were by my side in a heartbeat dragging your drunken sister home always making sure I was safe. If I haven't said it before, thanksbro!
I remember when everyone came over before me and Daryl got married, there was 30 people
bunked in that house I swear, we were all so young and happy. One night after everyone had gone to bed I had stayed up and was doodling on a piece of paper and had left it on the table when I went to bed. The next day you were up before anyone else and you had read what I had written. When I got up you asked me if I had wrote the ballad on the paper, I just smiled. For the next 2 days you followed me around with that damned piece of paper telling me that I was gifted and I should get it published! Finally, I didn't have the heart to continue deceiving you and told you the words were lyrics to a song by Garth Brooks called Lonsome Dove! I still laugh to this day whenever I hear that song. Your neices and nephew are all grown up. Kait has a little girl named Lily she is beautiful bro she looks just like Kaitlin did when she was small and you used to carry her on your shoulders. Ariana and Danny-B are all grown up too. Ariana asks about you sometimes. I wish she could have known and loved you the way I did. She is beautiful.
I miss you but you are in my heart and your memories always make me smile. See you again someday my brother and friend, love always Tracey
- Remembering a great all round cowboy, a great competitor. Our thoughts are with Dion's near and extended family. From Warkworth Rodeo Club
- Action photos supplied by - Andrew MacKay
- Close up photo supplied by - Stephen Roke - Link where people can download a high res file if they wish http://stephenroke.smugmug.com/Other/Dion/18967351_P3ZC8M#1472578211_tb5zj4d
- A true champion taken way too early, thinking of all the Church whanau at this sad time in the Far North, Mark, Kary and Troy Robertson, Kaitaia
- DION A TRUE ALL-ROUND COWBOY.
TAKEN BEFORE HIS TIME.
A LEGEND WHO WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN
WILL BE TRULY MISSED BY EVERYONE
HE-MAN! - Taupo Rodeo Club & Whanau
- To all the church family,
We are so sorry to hear about the loss of Dion. Taken to early. Our thoughts are with you all at this sad time.
Dion you will be missed by many. Ride High in the sky.
Brad, Janet, Trudi Yelavich
- New Zealand Rodeo will not be the same without you Dion Church. You inspired many of us and an amazing horseman and cowboy. My thoughts and prayers go out to Christine, Paige, Sam, Renae, Jaime, Merv, Sue and all the Church Whanau. Such a sad time. We are all here when you need us. Stay strong and look after each other. RIP Dion xoxoxo - Kushla Larsen
- Dion will leave a large hole in the rodeo world, we will be flying a flag for him at Urenui. Rest in Peace, our thoughts are with the family and friends.
Urenui Rodeo Club
- A large part of NZ Rodeo has gone with you Dion – you will never be forgotten! You always had a nice smile and a good morning at the rodeos J My thoughts are with the whole Church family. Vicki Denby
- A great friend, competitor and nice guy taken too early. Our thoughts are with Dion's family, friends and all the many people who have had the privelegde to part of his life. May your legacy live on through us all. 'Darling' we will miss you. Denise Young and the BOP Opotiki Rodeo Assn.
- To the whanau of Dion,
Thank you so much for sharing your man, Dion with the whole of New Zealand, and Internationally, we are all so much the richer and challenged to have known Dion, rodeoed with Dion, shared a joke with him, had him attend our rodeo's and carry our NZ flag.
He is a Champion, your Champion, and our champion, Dion 'Your dues/fees are truely paid, go rodeo with all the legends'
We will all miss your cheeky, dry, kind ways, have a well earned rest cowboy.
Special love and thoughts to Christine and tamariki, Merv, Sue and whanau,
All our love, aroha, Tina Angus and the Richmond Rodeo Club
- Our thoughts & prays are all , I know in my heart that he is still riding in the sky with BJ and all...
Twilla Clearwater & girls
- My condolences to the Church family and the wider NZRCA network in respect of the passing of Dion Church. Such a shock. He was a true ‘gentleman' cowboy, he will be missed.
Sue Watson BOP Opotiki Rodeo Assn Inc
- So sorry to hear about the sudden an unexpected passing of a TRUE Champion Cowboy! Out thoughts and prayers are with the family as they morn the loss of a very inspiring man. Merv, Sue, and Christine, just know that he will remain in the hearts and memories of every person who knew him. Wayne & Tammy Howsan, Shreveport LA, USA
- Condolences to Dion's family from Mick Gray and the Australian Bushmens Campdraft and Rodeo Association and also the Sydney Easter Show
- With love and deepest sympathy to the Church Whanau on the very sad passing of Rodeo Legend Dion. Thinking of you all at this time.
From Janice & Ken Thompsett
Tua Marina Rodeo
- Heartfelt sympathy to the Church family at the sudden passing of Dion, our thoughts are with you at this sad time.
May the special memories you will have of a great champion cowboy help with your grief.
Te Anau Rodeo Club
- Our deepest condolences go out to the church family. A truly great man and friend to all. Will miss those late phone calls from him to talk saddle making and invites to see his saddle trees.
From all at Dunstan Downs station, Omarama Charlie and Tania Innes
- Our thoughts and sympathy are with Christine and her children also with the entire Church family Farwell to a true champion taken well before his time Rest in Piece Dion you will be remembered fondly.
The Brenssell Family Outram
You were a man of great skill, courage and mana. The sport and the world is a poorer place without you.
Our thoughts are with the family in this time of great sorrow.
Mid Northern Rodeo Club
- Sad to hear of Dions passing... alittle man with a big heart R.I.P...arohamai to Merv, Sue an the Church Whanau Xox - Hine Corbett
- Our heart felt sympathy goes out to the Church Family, Wife Christine and Children on Dion's sudden death.
It has been a huge shock to our family.
He was a guy with a big heart and a lot of intergity.
We always enjoyed Dion coming to stay for the Te Anau Rodeo,
He will be sorely missed by all those that knew him.
Ride Easy Dion, catch you on the other side of the mountain!
The Macdonald Family, The Plains Station, Te Anau.
- Sorry to hear of Dion's untimely passing. Our condolences to Dion's and the Church families. Never forget the Red Bands and spurs. Dave and Carmel Wright, Montana, USA
- My condolences to all the Church family for your sad loss.
A modest Rodeo cowboy of great talent who will be sadly missed.
- So sorry to here about Dion Church, I know the Church family was involved in New Zealand Rodeo please send our condolences from Manerd and Shawna as well as all of the staff at Cowboy Country to his family and friends. Thank you
- RIP DION - On behalf of our family please accept our deepest sympathy in the sad loss of Dion a much loved cowboy, hes been a part of our family for many of his younger rodeo days and we used to look forward to him arriving in with a truck load of cowboys theyd crash out on the lounge floor an never woke us just made tttthem selves at home. RIP Dion - heaven will be a better place Mary Dick Mccormack an family
- Dion farewell till we meet again. Drop the reins on his neck sit easy in the saddle and ride. From that little chap many years back that used to catch my horse in the early morning for a pig hunt with your dad, to a 'true Champion'. The 'Champion' part was to be your destiny right from a young age. Our thoughts are with you Sue, Merv and all of Dion's family. Les @ Lee Hazeldine
- Our thoughts are with Dion's family at this sad time. Dion was both a true champion and a gentleman cowboy. Condolences from the Canterbury Rodeo Assn.
- To the Church whanau
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the Church whanau at this very sad time.
Dion was a true inspiration to all those who knew him, a true Cowboy and an amazing horseman, he will be sadly missed.
Arohanui Shawn, Debs, Krystal, Nikola, Whiringa.a.rangi and Tukotahi Tuaupiki
- To all Dion's family and friends. My deepest sympathy. A champion in his sport has left us. Wayne Leary Invercargill
- Very sad about Dion Church a great man from wonderfull family, God Bless him and those close to him. Kevin Harnett
- Out thoughts are with Dion's family at this sad time. Sincere condolances from the Oruru Valley Rodeo Club.
- I have just heard the sad news that Dion passed away last month, I am a keen photographer and really enjoyed watching and photographing Dion doing what he loved, please pass on my sincere condolences to Dion's Whanau. John Reid - Greymouth
Please accept our condoleneces to the Church family....From the Hancock family NSW Australia xxxx
- We never saw you compete, but knew you as a father, husband, and local. Our kids and Christine brought us together for a time and it was a real pleasure and honour to know you. A humble man, a creative man. There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for Christine and the tamariki. Kia Kaha, Kia toa, kia whanau. Arohamai Adam, Kerrie, Waimirirangi and Hera.
- I'm so sorry to hear of Dion's passing. It was fun rodeoing with Dion in New Zealand and here in Canada. The 'Cowboy's Prayer' says it all. Happy Trails Dion!
- Dean Cockburn Calgary, Canada
- On behalf of myself, my brothers Marty and Colin and the many many friends that Dion made in Canada while he was here, that may not know he's gone, we tip our hats to a great cowboy and great guy. Dion will be remembered by our generation here in Canada and the U.S. as long as we're around. I'm really saddened to hear that he's gone. God Bless ya Dion. Shawn C. Orr - Owner/ General Manager A bar K Rodeo firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Jenny Treloars [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 8 March 2016 7:17 p.m.
My thoughts and prayers are with Dions loved ones Christine and children , Merv Sue and Whanau on the loss of a beautiful man who I had the priviledge to know..such a great loss to rodeo whanau ...GEORGE BAKER and WHANAU