Dr. Loren Dale Tompkins, 82, Topeka: Aug. 30, 1938 – July 12, 2021 – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Dr. Loren Dale Tompkins, 82, Topeka: Aug. 30, 1938 – July 12, 2021

TOPEKA, Kan. – Dr. Loren Dale Tompkins, 82, formerly of Vassar, Kan., died Monday, July 12, 2021, at his home in Topeka, Kan. Dr. Tompkins, known as Dale to his friends in Osage County and his family, was born Aug. 30, 1938, in Salina, Kan. He moved as a child to Kansas City, Kan., with his parents Jesse Benton and Martha Belle (Lake) Tompkins, and older brother and sister.

He met Rebecca “Becky” Lane during their time at Wyandotte High School, in Kansas City. They married July 11, 1958, in Miami, Okla., and moved to Lawrence, where Dale was pursuing his bachelor of education degree at the University of Kansas; he earned that first degree in 1963. He, Becky, and their first daughter moved to Topeka, where he began teaching at Northern Hills Junior High in the Seaman school district, known as Loren or L.D. He earned a master’s of education degree from KU in 1967.

In 1971, the family, Dale, Becky, and two daughters, started building a house in Pomona Heights, at Vassar. They contracted with Louie Hull for the building. As an avid woodworker, Dale economized by doing much of the finish work with Becky. The family moved into the house in early January 1972. In 1976, Dale left Seaman as vice principal at Northern Hills Junior High to become principal at Lyndon High School.

As an educator, he had his summers free and used his craftsman skills to create wrought-iron railings for contractor Louie Hull, who was building many houses in Pomona Heights. Dale enjoyed gardening and playing golf at Lamont Hill. In the winters, he spent many evenings on his ham radio talking with other ham operators around the globe. Both he and Becky were members of the Osage County Amateur Radio Club.

A bit of a renaissance man who never found himself without a topic to explore, Dale also ran a gun shop in Lyndon with his friend Harold Dalrymple.

He left Lyndon High School in 1981 and returned to the University of Kansas full-time to earn his doctorate in education in 1983. That fall, he joined the faculty of The Teachers College at Emporia State University, again as Loren. He primarily taught graduate-level courses in statistics and school law. He retired from ESU in 2003 and began enjoying his hobbies fulltime. These included his woodworking, golf and amateur radio. He also volunteered as a CNA with Midland Hospice in Topeka, taught himself locksmithing, and began hiking both in Kansas and in the southwest United States.

Dale’s wife, Becky, died July 31, 1998, of cancer. He moved to Legend at Capital Ridge, an assisted living center in Topeka in 2019 after a fall forced him to leave his Vassar home.

He is survived by two daughters, Tina (Carl) Langley, of Berryton, Kan., and Gwen (Greg) Larson of Americus, Kan.; four grandchildren, Kate (Matt) Redenbaugh, Gardner, Kan., Alex (Brittnie) Larson, Hutchinson, Kan., and Luke Larson and Aaron Larson, both of Emporia; and three great-grandchildren.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to all the staff and caregivers at Legend at Capital Ridge and Interim Healthcare and Hospice.

Cremation has taken place; a private service will be planned later.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society or the American Diabetes Association, sent in care of Feltner Funeral Home, 822 Topeka Ave., Lyndon, KS 66451. Condolences can be left at feltnerfuneralhome.com.

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