Pendleton saddle maker Randy Severe, a longtime member and former president of the Pendleton Round Up board of directors, has died of complications from COVID-19.
He was 70 years old.
He started feeling ill shortly after the Round Up ended in mid-September, and was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Sept. 27, according to family friends. He spent nearly two months on a ventilator in a Portland hospital, and died Sunday morning.
Severe built more than 200 saddles for Pendleton Round Up champions, and was a highly regarded saddle maker.
In a tribute posted to the event’s Facebook page Monday night, Round Up officials said Pendleton has “truly lost a legend.”
Umatilla County’s vaccination rate has remained among the lowest in the state. As of this week, less than 55% of residents in the county have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. Statewide, that number is more than 78%.