A cowboy who was in a wheelchair for the last six years of his life received his dying wish: He was buried standing up, with his boots on.

Jimmy Dale Struble, 49, died Dec. 3 of lung problems. He was paralyzed from the neck down in 1986, during what friends said was a fight with another cowboy over who was the better roper."He hated lying flat on his butt for six years, and he didn't want to be buried that way," said Glenn Younger, one of several dozen mourners who paid their last respects Tuesday.

In a funeral procession tailored to Struble's last requests, mourners followed his saddle-draped casket as it was hauled to the graveyard in a pickup truck.

Struble's friends then lowered his casket, feet first, into the ground with their lariats.

Struble was buried in a cowboy hat, denim jeans, a Western shirt and boots. He had his favorite pocketknife.

"He was a hard-headed country boy - make that heavy on the country boy," said Younger.