Rayson was a Modoc Indian of the Klamath Tribes. He was born on Jan. 14, 1947, in Klamath Falls, Ore. He was born to Modoc parents Bill and Rachel Tupper. He went home at the age of 72, to be with his Lord and
Savior on July 28, 2019, with family surrounding his bedside.
He was the direct descendant (paternal side) to his great-great-grandfather Dr. Duffy; his great-great-uncle Bogus Charley (who was Dr. Duffy’s brother, and Captain Jack, who all fought in the Modoc War of 1872-1873). He was the great-grandson of Watson Tupper-Duffy and grandson of Edson Duffy. On his grandmother’s side (Josephine Jackson Duffy), he was a direct descendant and great-great-great-grandson of Old Chief Schonchin (1864 Treaty Signer) and his wife Cumbutwas; he was the great-great-great-nephew of Schonchin John (brother to Old Chief Schonchin), who was killed after the Modoc War along with his ancestors Captain Jack, Boston Charley and Black Jim. He was also a direct descendant of his great-great-great-grandmother Winema, great-great-grandfather Jeff Riddle, and great-grandson of Anna Mae Copperfield. He was the Apple of his gramp and grammy’s eye (Hi and Winnie (Jackson) Robbins). His gramp Hi was born in Oklahoma Indian Territory (Joplin, Mo.) and came home to Oregon with his parents Charlie and Minnie Robbins at the age of 5 to settle in the Sprague River Valley and start the ranch known as the Hi-Robbins Ranch.
He grew up and was raised by his gramp and grammy and his parents on the Hi-Robbins Ranch in Sprague River. From the time he could walk, he and his brothers and sisters rode horses and had a rope in their hands. As a little boy, he was gifted a beautiful dapple-gray horse named “Apple” from his gramp. It was well known that his grandparents spoiled him and, when his mom and dad came to visit him at his grandparents, often he would hide and throw rocks at their car because he thought they were coming to take him home. His mom Rachel would tell that story often about how he dented her new car, but she couldn’t whip him because gramp and grammy wouldn’t let her; he’d stand behind them and stick out his tongue. He was spoiled to say the least, but he was loved.
He attended school in Sprague River, Bonanza, Chiloquin, and on his senior year he went to Judson Private School in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he and his brothers became the Arizona High School Team Roping Champions. He often talked about his time at Judson, where he, Stormy, Richard and Tana met and went to school with many famous people like Ronald Reagan’s son, the Hurst Brothers, and his friend whose father held the patent for the Dodge Cummings Turbo Diesel Engine. He was well known at Judson for being a protector and taking care of any bullies, no matter what their status or wealth.
As a young man, he met and married Cheryl Bodner; they lived on the ranch in Sprague River and had two daughters Torina and Taylor, whom he named Medicine Horse and Thunder Horse. He was raised near Saddle Mountain in the Sprague River Valley with his brothers and sisters (Stormy, Tana, Richard, Tori, and Berva) and close cousins/brothers Steve Weiser, and Norman Lotches.
Other things he loved to do included racing muscle cars, team roping, calf roping, ranching, branding, ride horses, gathering cattle, boxing, hanging out with his friends and family, listening to music, and Face booking. He always saw the beauty in everyone, hence his re-posting his FB friends selfies saying, “My friend is a Model, or 10!” He was famous across the Pacific NW for having the best paint quarter horses and for his horseman/rodeo skills. He was greatly known for his sense of humor, jokes, and scaring people with his fake mouse, snake in a bag, and especially his witch and old man masks.
Before his retirement, he worked all his life in many different areas that included Weyerhaeuser, Forest Service, Klamath County School District, CSD Board 30-Year Volunteer, Klamath Tribes Executive Committee; Klamath Tribal Game Commission; Ruby Pipeline Foreman; Fire Crew Forest Service Bly District, and Klamath Tribes Community Services Driver. But he always said his best job and greatest accomplishment was being a father. He broke the mold when he became a father; he did everything for his girls; he was the Best Dad Ever; he broke the cycle; he loved being a father and grandfather; he always said that was his greatest job and accomplishment.
He was many things through his lifetime, father, tribal leader, brother, son, and friend to all. But he always held a special place in his heart for children. His entire life, he was a youth advocate for all kids. He was a true warrior for the children, his tribe, his family, and for the water, land, and animals. Later in life, he was a strong advocate for ecosystem protection as he fought for dam removal and salmon recovery in the Klamath River and against the Jordan Cove Pipeline here in Southern Oregon.
He lived a life full of fellowship, family, and friends. His legacy is his children and family. Survivors include his daughters Torina Case and Taylor Tupper. His brothers, Stormy Tupper, Brandon Tupper and Steve Weiser, and sisters Tana Tupper, Tori Tupper, Berva Tupper. Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren Liston, Fallon, Faryn, Roman, Lavina Rose, Logan Roanhorse and Layson Case VI.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father Bill and Rachel Tupper, brother Richard Tupper Sr., brother-in-law Ivan Jackson Sr., and former father-in-law Buttons Bodner.
Services held on Thursday, Aug. 1 in O’Hairs-Wards Funeral Chapel at 11 a.m. Graveside service held at Chief Schonchin Cemetery. Feed followed at Beatty Community Center.