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Earl Tonkinson Jr.

1937 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Earl Tonkinson Jr. Obituary
Tonkinson, Earl David "Dave" Jr.

Earl David "Dave" Tonkinson, Jr., age 78, returned home to his Lord and Savior on Friday, June 24, 2016. He was a loving father, dedicated teacher, and prime example of a genuinely kind and compassionate human being. He was born in Weatherford, OK on December 11, 1937. He lived his life serving others, and you'd be hard-pressed to remember a time when he would ever ask, "What's in it for me?" He simply gave his all without question or expectation.

He was employed by the Albuquerque Public School system from 1962-1984. He taught at Eldorado High School, Freedom High School, and Harrison Middle School until his retirement in 1984. His only pause from teaching was to serve his country in the Vietnam War from 1969 through 1971, United States Army 23rd Infantry Division. He was not drafted, he volunteered. All I have learned of war are from pictures in textbooks, painting a story from the vision of the storyteller. As a kid, I knew it was tough to speak with my dad about the war. The only pictures he took were of children, dressed in their Sunday best, at barbecues that were provided for weekly by the troops. He was there alone, in a country that did not want him, in a war that was not wanted, but still embraced by kids that could smile in his presence. He was there for the kids, and he will be loved, remembered and missed by those he left behind.

He was married to Frankie "Tooker" Campbell in 1959. From that union, he leaves behind one daughter, Sonda Gerdes and significant other, Jeff Bambach of Fort Mill, SC, along with two grandchildren, Colt and Courtney Gerdes of Charlotte, NC; and one son, Jesse Tonkinson and spouse, Suzy of Williford, AR, along with two grandchildren, Zachary and Ethan Tonkinson of Albuquerque, NM.

He is currently married to his spouse of 43 years, Evelyn Carr Tonkinson. He leaves behind one daughter, Pamela Tonkinson-Saiz and spouse, Anthony Saiz, along with two grandchildren, Chelsi Baros of Los Angeles, CA, and Ailani Saiz of Albuquerque, NM. Evelyn was his caregiver daily, dedicated to him, and sacrificing herself for his care, to ensure his comfort. May he find the peace and comfort that only God can provide. We will miss you, Dad.

Memorial Service will be Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 10:00 a.m. at FRENCH â€" University. Please visit our online guestbook for Dave at


FRENCH - University

1111 University Blvd. NE

Published in Albuquerque Journal on July 10, 2016
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