Thomas's Story

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BURKE'S GARDEN, VA -- Thomas Albert "Tommy" Dunford of Burke's Garden died Sunday, July 23, 2017 at
Mechanicsville, MD. Born March 16, 1957 in Tazewell, VA, he was a son of Mary Arlene Dunford Newton of Burke's Garden, VA and the late Albert Jesse Dunford. Thomas grew up in Burke's Garden, graduated from Tazewell High School, and went on to attend Randolph-Macon College and the University of South Alabama. While in Alabama, Thomas sold roofing materials for Lowe's and decided to enter into the roofing contracting business. Upon his return to Tazewell County, he opened Dunford Roofing Company in 1979, and was president of Dunford Roofing, Inc. as well as general manager of Southwest Roofing, Inc. He also operated the Gas and Guzzle convenience store gas station and the Burke's Garden General Store. During his thirty-eight years in business, Thomas established a reputation for excellence in the industry. His company earned the elite Master Contractor Award from Firestone Building Products numerous times, in competition with 2,000 companies nationwide. Thomas was also the owner of Dark Horse Racing, and he competed in Top Sportsman, Super Rod, Pro-Mod and bracket racing. Racing was his passion, and he had a reputation in racing circles for being an exciting driver to watch. He was also loved for his thoughtfulness and generosity to his family, friends, employees and members of the racing community. A man of many talents, Thomas also wrote poetry and was a drummer with more than one band. He was unique, and his easy laugh and good humor will be long remembered.
In addition to his father, Thomas was preceded in death by his cousin and former business partner, C.D. Earls, and beloved father figure, Denver Stoker.
In addition to his mother, he is survived by his fiancée and partner of 30 years, Jonni Stoker of Burke's Garden, VA, her mother, Lou Stoker, her sister, Dana Cochran, and her niece, Amanda Cochran, all of Bramwell, WV; his brother, Bobby Earl Dunford of Tazewell, VA; sister, Rhonda Dunford of Hickory, NC; nephew, Bobby Earl Dunford, Jr. of Alberta Canada, and multiple cousins and other family members. He is also survived by his Dunford Roofing family of long-time, faithful employees, including his management team of Harold Johnson, John Boutin, Ginger Bogle and Julie Ray, and a large community of racing buddies who meant so much to him for almost forty years, including special friend and teammate, Tommy Plott and lifelong friend, June Carr.
The family will receive friends Saturday, July 29, 2017 from 11 AM until 2 PM at Peery & St. Clair Funeral Home, 111 Ben Bolt Ave, Tazewell, VA where a celebration of life will be conducted at 2 PM.
Burial will follow at Burke's Garden Central Lutheran Church Cemetery. Pallbearers are Harold Johnson, Henry Stump, Clifton Barton, Jerry Whitt, Will Bowdon, Troy Zimmerman, Jamie Garrett, and Mike Lewis. Honorary pallbearers are Doug Cochran, David McGhee, Joe Hagy, Mike Ball, Keith Rasnake, John Peak, and Jim Coker. Following the interment, there will be a gathering of family and friends at the Burke's Garden Community Center.
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorial donations to drawfasthelp.org in Mr. Dunford's name.
Online condolences may be sent to www.peerystclairfuneralhome.com
Published on July 26, 2017
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