John Raymond Tompkins was born Sept. 6, 1950 in Miami, Fla. He met his high school sweetheart, Barbara (Sandquist), and graduated in 1968. He went to St. John’s University and played football for two years. He and Barbara married in 1970. He was stationed in Massachusetts, Turkey, and Maryland throughout his military service. He was part of the Army Security Agency (Vigiles Salutis) from 1970-1973 and specialized in Intelligence & Cryptographic. He then worked in the Pentagon and lived on the East coast before moving back to Cambridge, Minn. and building their home on “Little Africa.” They had two children, David and Jennifer.
After serving in the Army, he continued to learn and build his skills working in the Information Technology field. His title was Senior Network Specialist/Senior System Engineer and he enjoyed being part of the progression of the computer industry.
John had a passion in the area of sports. He played football, basketball, wrestling, baseball, and golf. John also enjoyed fishing and going on Lake of the Woods fishing trips with his close friends from High School. He always enjoyed going out to see a Twins game and seeing every Vikings game. He shared that love for the sports with his family and was excited to teach the grand kids about the game. John also enjoyed woodworking. He enjoyed the special time meeting with his Tuesday breakfast group of guys especially his grade school and long time friend, Bob Jr.
He volunteered for Heartland Express, also at the Mora school as a math aid so he could spend time with his granddaughters, and served as an election judge in the Springvale Township. He was a member of the American Legion post.
He had unconditional love for each of his grandchildren. They made his life so full of excitement and adventures. He took the extra time to talk with each one of them and to know what was happening in their world. Grandpa had a drive to learn more and to share what he knew with others. John’s nickname given to him by his grandchildren – “walking dictionary-encyclopedia-GPS-weather station.” He was the go-to Grandpa for whatever question you might have.
He is survived by wife, Barbara, children, David (Gina) Tompkins, Jennifer (Jason) Yates, and 5 wonderful grandchildren, Jordanna, Julia, Joshua, Jared, & Kaitlyn, Father, Harold, 2 brothers, Thomas and Robert and by other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11 at Cambridge Lutheran Church with Rev. David Everett officiating. A time for visiting will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements were entrusted to the care of Strike Funeral Home – Cambridge Chapel.