The Reverend Doctor Thomas Ashton "Tommy" Dunbar, 68, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, in Baton Rouge, LA.
Born on July 14, 1947, in Pineville, LA, he attended Pineville High School. There, he was a multi-sport athlete while simultaneously developing his love for the arts highlighted by his mastery of the piano. On a picturesque Friday night in the fall, one could see Tommy line up on both offense and defense in the for his high school football team - and at halftime, he would join the marching band to play the trombone. After graduating from Pineville High School in 1965, Tommy attended Louisiana Tech University where he blossomed as a defensive back and also met the love of his life, Susan Williams Dunbar, whom he married in 1969.
During college, Tommy received a call to the ministry which led him to earn a B.A. in English in 1969. After earning his Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 1972, Tommy fulfilled his calling serving as a minister in the United Methodist Church while growing his young family. Tommy went on to earn his Doctor of Ministry from Drew University.
In between his service as a pastor to many churches across Louisiana and Texas over his lifetime, Tommy enjoyed running, growing roses, and being on the open water. There, he could be seen driving his "big boat" (favored over the smaller fishing boats owned by his brothers-in-law) and calling out instructions to his nieces and nephews while teaching them to water ski.
Tommy retired from the ministry in 2006 but was still passionate about his love of helping others giving way to his new found career as a financial services representative for Modern Woodmen of America. After a severe stroke in 2009, Tommy continued to enjoy life by attending Louisiana Tech football games, working out at the YMCA, and spending time with his four grandchildren at their various activities and at the beach each summer.