It’s been a year….
“Tom” William Dorsey Tompkins Jr. age 72 of Apache Junction passed away November 1, 2021, at Showlow, Arizona hospital due to complications of Covid and Agent Orange.
Tom was born February 21, 1949, in Gulfport, Mississippi to William Dorsey Tompkins Sr and Mary Louise Sumrall.
At about age 6 his father’s work took them to the Pittsburg area where he attended elementary school at Monroeville and Franklin County High School, Sardis, Pennsylvania. His family returned to Mississippi in 1966 and Tom graduated from Harrison Central High School. During those years he enjoyed hunting, fishing, scuba diving and working with his Uncle Duane Blake. Tom attended college at Mississippi State and Jefferson Davis Jr college before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. Tom, a Vietnam Veteran, was stationed in San Diego and proudly served active duty from 1969 to 1980. He was deployed on several West Pac tours to Southeast Asia waters on the USS Samuel Gompers AD-37 Destroyer Tender and the USS Kittyhawk CV-63 Supercarrier. While Tom was stationed in the Philippines, he trained in the study of Kuntaw style karate and was certified brown belt. He also met and married Virginia Malana March 5, 1972. During Tom’s military career as a MM1-Machinist Mate 1st Class he received several awards, medals, and commendations before his honorable discharge in 1986 from the US Naval Reserve. Tom worked in the waterfront industry at Integrated Marine Machinery Repair, Campbells shipyard as project manager, Everingham Bait Barge as manager, and finally before retiring was a Project Estimator for Epsilon Systems Solutions. During his working years Tom enjoyed, fishing, coaching his son’s baseball teams, working on his VW, golfing, participating in competition archery and darts while raising 3 sons. After almost 30 years of marriage Virginia passed from extended health issues in 2001. Tom retired at age 62 and met his future wife in 2009, Carolyn Shaw. He moved to Arizona, bought a trailer and they started touring National Parks and Monuments across the country visiting family and friends along the way. They always took their Harley so they could enjoy nature and all its glory of being on the open road riding whenever possible. When not traveling Tom enjoyed doing woodworking projects in his shop and exploring AZ state forests taking pictures of the wildlife, beautiful rock formations and sunsets. He was an active member of the American Legion Riders and a PUFL member of the VFW. Tom collected knives, eagle statues, rocks, gemstones, antique tools, and gadgets. Carolyn describes Tom as a very loving, intelligent, patriotic, proud, strong, faithful, protector, courteous, conscientious, hardworking Southern gentleman. He always had the right tool for the right job, and if not, we bought it, and he would say the job was usually over engineered. He would always draw his design for a project, sleep on it, modify if necessary, and then begin to build after a mug of Navy coffee.
Tom is survived by his wife, Carolyn of Apache Junction, Sons John (Michelle) of Murrieta, CA, William (Florian) of San Diego, CA, Wylie (LeAnn) of Glendale, AZ, daughter-in-law Eileen of Escondido, CA, Stepdaughter Heather (Paul) Radigan of Mesa, AZ., Grandsons Wylie Jr, Brandon, Jordan and Elijah, Great Grandson Atlas, Sisters Sandra (Kennon) Smith of San Angelo, TX, and Donna (Wayne) Hengen of Gulfport, MS.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and wife Virginia. Tom was interned at the National V.A. Memorial Cemetery of Phoenix Arizona after a private military service on November 19, 2021.
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