NORWALK, Ohio - Horsewoman Sandra Sweet Lovato, wife of retired Eclipse Award-winning jockey Frankie Lovato, Jr., died Wednesday in Norwalk, Ohio from injuries sustained from a car accident. She was 54.
Sandy Lovato graduated from Norwalk High School in 1978 and moved to New York, where she started her career working with horses at the racetrack and met the love of her life, Frankie Lovato, Jr. She served as PTA president at School District 13 in Valley Stream, New York, where she received numerous service awards for her dedication and time before the family returned to Ohio.
She also served as President for the Wooden Horse Corporation, a family-owned company that produces the Equicizer, that she started with her husband, Frankie, in 2006.
A lifelong horse enthusiast, she became a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and in 2009 founded Stampede of Dreams in Norwalk, Ohio. SOD is a 501c3 non-profit program for Equine Assisted Horseback Riding lessons providing therapeutic benefits for children and adults with special needs.
She is survived by her husband, whom she married November 23, 1982, Frankie Lovato, Jr., of Norwalk, Ohio; by her children, Megan (Walter) Hodgkiss, of Huron, Ohio, Shawn Lovato, of Queens, New York, Timothy Lovato, of Norwalk, Ohio, and by her granddaughter Allison. She is also survived by her sister Debora Stogner and by her sister-in-law Michelle Sweet. She was preceded in death by her brother, Charles Sweet, and by her sister Janice Stoneham.
Visitation is is on Friday, September 5, 2014 from 4-7 p.m.at the Walker Funeral Home, 98 West Main St., Norwalk, Ohio. Mass of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 10 a.m. in St. Paul Catholic Church, 91 East Main St., Norwalk, Ohio.
Memorial contributions may be made to Stampede of Dreams TRP, Inc., P.O. Box 679, Norwalk, Ohio 44857.
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