RMCNews with Joanne Smith – Denver, Colorado … Tom Tupito, senior pastor of Aurora First Adventist Church passed away June 19 after suffering a heart attack while attending the North American Division ministerial CALLED conference.

“This is a huge loss for Tom’s family, the Aurora First Seventh-day Adventist Church, and all of the workers in the Rocky Mountain Conference who loved and appreciated Tom,” said Mickey Mallory, RMC ministerial director.

“We are eternally grateful for the wonderful impact Tom made on his family and church. He will be missed greatly. His friendly demeanor always made interacting with him enjoyable.”

Born in Taputimu, American Samoa, Tom has been with Aurora First since January 1, 2017.

Commenting on this tragic news, Aurora church head elder, Boima Sonii said, “Our hearts are broken by the sudden passing of our dear pastor. Words alone can’t express how much we are going to miss him. Our prayers and thoughts are with his sons, Esmond and Evron, and the entire Tupito family.”

Addressing the church, Sonii said, “My beloved Aurora First family, let’s keep the faith. Our God will certainly get us through these difficult times.”

Tom endured the loss of his wife, Fuiono Gingerlei, in August of 2019, and just last month, lost his sister in California.

“Our sincere gratitude to all who have reached out to express their love and condolences,” said Tom’s son, Esmond. He added, “In lieu of having visitors at our house, we’ve decided to meet at the church gymnasium on Wednesday and Thursday, June 22-23, from 6 to 9:30 p.m., for anyone who would like to come and share their sentiments and condolences.” The Aurora First address is 11400 E Mississippi Avenue, Aurora, CO 80012.

Information about the memorial service will be announced.

RMCNews with Joanne Smith; photo of Tom and Fuiono Gingerlei supplied.