Gil departed this life and went to join his Heavenly Father and the love of his life, his wife Linda Allison Switzer, on January 6, 2019. Photo © The Switzer Family

Respected Horseman Gil Switzer Passes

Gilbert “Popeye” Noel Switzer
June 17, 1933 – January 6, 2019

Gil departed this life and went to join his Heavenly Father and the love of his life, his wife Linda Allison Switzer, on January 6, 2019.

A lifelong resident of Gulfport, he retired from civil service with the Department of the Navy, where he oversaw quality assurance at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, MS.

Internationally recognized as an authority on the American Quarter Horse, Gil was a judge, NCHA (National Cutting Horse Association) champion, American Quarter Horse Association national director, founding member of the 21 Riders horse riding club, president, member of the board of directors for the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association, member of the MQHA Hall of Fame, and president and member of the South Mississippi Horse Show and Rodeo Association.

Gil and Linda travelled the world as he shared his knowledge and love of the American Quarter Horse. He graduated from Orange Grove High School and attended Perkinston Junior College on a basketball scholarship. Gil was a member of the military police in the U. S. Army, while stationed at Ft. Hood in Killeen, TX. Referred to by his friends as a “fun-loving guy,” Gil was playful, teasing and still loving with his family and caregivers even as his time with them drew to a close.

He was proceeded in death by his parents, Earl and Clarisse Switzer; his wife, Linda Allison Switzer; his sisters, Yvonne Ellsberry and Peggy Geil; and his brother, Earl “Sonny” Switzer.

He will be greatly missed by his daughters, Melinda (Mark) DeFreece and Whitley (Steve) Switzer-Kanter; his grandchildren, Kyle DeFreece and Stevie Kanter; an uncle, John Switzer; aunt, Lois Kelley; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services will be held Friday, January 11, at New Hope Baptist Church on Landon Road in Gulfport. Family visitation is at 9 a.m., friends are invited at 10 a.m. with the service beginning at 11 a.m.

The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff of St. Joseph Hospice for their gentle, attentive care during Gil’s last days and the nurses and staff at Seashore Highlands for their gentle loving care during his time with them.

RIEMANN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 11280 Three Rivers Rd., Gulfport is serving the family. An online obituary may be viewed and condolences and photos shared at

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association scholarship fund. Please make checks payable to: MQHA Scholarship Fund and send to Suzy McBeath, 10091 Rd 216, Union, MS 39365.