Bronc Fanning

Johnnie “Bronc” Forest Fanning, (1949-2023) 74 passed away peacefully March 27, 2023, at his home in East Bend, NC with his significant other, Sheilla Boyd by his side. He fought a courageous battle with cancer but never lost his humility or sense of humor during that time.

Bronc was a professional cowboy all his life competing in rodeos and ropings. He coached and mentored many past, present, and future champion ropers. He taught them to believe in themselves and to be winners in and out of the arena.

He was the creator, publisher, and editor of “The Roping Pen” newspaper which was later sold and became a monthly magazine. He continued to write his column, “In the Box” for the magazine several years even after he no longer published it himself.

He had a major influence on the growth of team roping east of the Mississippi.

He braided nylon reins and headstalls, used by ropers everywhere, with some still in use after 30 years. His original design of a cabled barrel racing rein, known as “Bronc’s Cable Reins,” are being used by many barrel racers and mounted shooters all over the country.

He is survived by his significant other of 19 years, Sheilla Boyd, of the home. He is also survived by siblings Janie Tolson and husband, Jim, Joe Fanning, Mike Fanning and wife, Karen and brother-in-law, Ronald Hopkins all of Oklahoma. He is also survived by a son, John Singer and wife Kali, daughters, Becky Taylor and Patty Fanning and wife, Tonya. Also surviving grandchildren, C.J. Kendrick and husband, Ryan, JD, Matthew, Molly and Will Singer all of Oklahoma, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Marie Fanning, siblings, Gwen Wacker, Jimmy Fanning, Billy Fanning, Donna Little and Patty Hopkins.

In Bronc’s words, he lived life on his own terms, and he made many really good friends along the way.

We will be hosting a local memorial service for Bronc, Friday, April 7th at 10 a.m. at Sapulpa Bible Church, 1119 Brenner Rd, Sapulpa, Ok. Come help us honor his life and be prepared to share any stories that you’d like.

Memorials may be made to NC High School Rodeo Association, Bronc Fanning Scholarship donation, 215 Button Branch Lane LaGrange, NC 28551 or a charity of the donor’s choice.