On Sept. 1, Tom Sumpter, of Morriston, Fla., passed away while in the Intensive Care Unit of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Gainesville, Fla. “He was surrounded by his family and it was peaceful,” said Sumpter’s wife, Sherry.
Sumpter, 71, served on the board of directors of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) for many years and was president of the NRHA in 2003. He was an avid competitor, consistent NRHA Top 10 Non-Pro finalist, and in 1994, he earned the Non-Pro World Championship on Red Ant Rey (Rey Jay Doc x Ant Twister x Jay James).
Sumpter married Sherry Rodeffer on Oct. 8, 1999. On Oct. 31, 2000, Sumpter was seriously injured in a riding accident. Although wheelchair bound, he continued to serve the reining community for many years. He also continued to live his life. He was an inspiration to friends and family. Sumpter knew no bounds.
An avid pilot, he continued to fly planes and give flying lessons, and he created a successful company to refurbish planes for resale. Sumpter made sure he was present at just about every reining in Florida. He was there to cheer on his many friends, his wife and his daughter, Ginger Dwyer, as they competed in the NRHA show pen.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6 at Williston Church of God, 850 SW 7th St., Williston, FL 32696.