Oliver ‘Tommy’ Oliphant

Oliver Tom “Tommy” Oliphant, 88, of Sabinal died on May 20, 2014, in San Antonio. Visitation will be held today at 8 a.m. at the Rushing-Estes-Knowles Chapel in Uvalde. The family will greet visitors from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight. Funeral services will be held tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Rushing-Estes-Knowles Chapel in Uvalde. Interment will follow in Sabinal Cemetery. He was born on March 2, 1926, in Matador to Ruth English Oliphant and Boone Oliphant. He grew up in Uvalde, and at the age of 14 he started galloping racehorses for E.F. Woodward at the Valdina Farms near Utopia. During that time he met and married Maurine Oliphant on Sept. 25, 1943. They were married for 68 years. At 18, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII, serving in the Pacific Islands where on Feb. 22, 1945, he was wounded on Iwo Jima. He returned home and started training thoroughbred racehorses in Del Rio and in many other states including the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, where he was the youngest licensed trainer on the track at that time. In 1959, along with Dr. Dan Saunders, they built Sunny Clime Farms, from where he eventually retired as a horse trainer, breeder, and owner. The family said Oliphant had a blessed and wonderful career spanning more than 60 years. He received many awards including being inducted to the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He was also a steadfast worker in the Sabinal United Methodist Church. He loved his family, friends, church and, of course, his horse racing. He is survived by one daughter, Darlene Lou Woodward and husband, Darrel, of Spring Branch; son-in-law, Louis Azopardi of Kyle; four grandchildren, Tommy Azopardi and wife, Molly, Robert Wayne Matthews, Rene Hedemann and husband, Keith, and Jennifer Garcia and husband, John; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; one son, Woody Wayne; one daughter, Tommie Lee Azopardi; six brothers; and one sister. Pallbearers will be Louis Azopardi, Jarrod Azopardi, Kade Hedemann, Danny Pish, Eddie Mathis and George Driskill. RUSHING-ESTES-KNOWLES MORTUARY, WWW.REKFUNERALS.COM
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