Obituary: William 'Bill' Tompkins

Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2001

William "Bill" Tompkins died Sept. 21, 2001, in Juneau, after a bout with cancer.

Born into the Raven Frog Clan of Klukwan on June 8, 1930, in Anchorage, Tompkins, whose Tlingit name is Hin'Sheesh, spent most of the last 40 years in Juneau. He served for two years during the Korean War, and some of his jobs in Juneau included working as a logger, a hand troller, a longshoreman and a commercial driver.

Tompkins was well known for his athletic talents. He was the first Alaska Native to play in the Minor League, he carried the Alaska Flag at the first Arctic Winter Games in 1970, and he played with the Arctic Lights and Klukwan. He was an active member of the Lions Club's Gold Medal Committee, and, in 1978, he was inducted into the Gold Medal Hall of Fame. He also coached Little League, American Legion Baseball, men's and women's basketball and softball. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping with his children and grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Anna Klaney; father Frank Tompkins; stepfather Henry Smith; brothers John and Raymond Tompkins; and sisters Henrietta "Bubbles" Tompkins, Betsy Raines and Dorothy Smith Burford.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Betty; son John Tompkins and his wife Linda, North Carolina; son Guy Tompkins and his wife Deborah, Australia; daughter Maggie Tompkins and Steve Bean, Juneau; son Frank Tompkins, Juneau; daughter Dawn Tompkins and Jason Bavard, Juneau; son Joe Tompkins, Juneau; daughter Christal Tompkins and Sam Miller, Juneau; many grandchildren, and a large extended family throughout Alaska.

A memorial service will be held at the Juneau ANB Hall on Monday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. The burial or spreading of ashes will be posted at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the American Cancer Fund, Juneau Lions Club, Hospice, or the American Red Cross.

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