TOMPKINS, Howard Christopher "Chris," 34, of Brandon, passed away Saturday, April 30, 2005, after a valiant fight with leukemia. Born May 8, 1970, in Gainesville, a devoted son and friend, Chris was preceded in death by his father, Chris Sr., and is survived by his mother, Betty Jo. Other survivors include his grandmothers, Anna Padron and Edna Tompkins; uncle, Ronald Padron and wife Martha; aunt, Mary Anna McDougall and husband Bob; and cousins, Anna McDougall, Michael and Susan McDougall, Catherine and Joe Lamberty, and their children, Jessica, Anthony and Gabriel, Christine McDougall, Ronald Padron and Andrew Padron. A Brandon resident since 1976, Chris was educated at Nativity School, Mann Junior High and Brandon High School. He attended the U.S. Page School and served as a congressional page for Congressman Michael Bilirakis, where he was named Outstanding Republican Page both terms. Chris was a National Hispanic Scholar, delegate to American Legion Boys State and Boys Nation, national 4-H Citizenship winner and FFA National Winner. He received his B.A. and J.D. at the University of Florida, where he served as student body president, treasurer, senate president, chair of the Florida Student Association and was named Florida's first national Truman Scholar, UF Outstanding graduate, Hall of Fame, Florida Blue Key, Mortar Board, ODK, Order of Omega, Savant Leadership and the Presidential Recognition Award. He and now Congressman Adam Putnam were AGR Fraternity brothers. In 1988, at 18, Chris became Hillsborough's youngest elected official, serving for 16 years on the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District Board (named Florida's best as Chair) and Republican Executive Committee, as parliamentarian. He was on the staff of Representative Faye Culp and authored Florida's Y2K Plan. He served as president of the Brandon South Rotary Club, assistant district governor, district chair, board member of Rotary's Camp Florida, Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Benefactor and member o f the Florida 4-H Foundation Board. A Brandon attorney, Chris was a member of the UF Law School Alumni Council, graduate of the Florida Wedgworth Leadership Program and Leadership Brandon. He was admitted to practice in the Florida, Ohio and Washington, D.C., Bars as well as multiple appeals courts. He was a member of the Seffner, Riverview and Brandon Chambers, Hillsborough County Fair Board, Florida West Coast RC & D Council, Florida and Hillsborough County Farm Bureaus and Nativity church member. The family expresses many thanks to the physicians, nurses and staff of Moffitt Cancer Center for their devotion and dedication during his treatment. Chris lived life to the fullest as an avid reader, traveler and loyal Gator fan. His extraordinary life will leave a lasting legacy for all the lives he touched. A funeral Mass will be celebrated 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, 2005, at Nativity Catholic Church, 705 E. Brandon Blvd., followed by a Celebration of Life Reception at Center Place, 619 Vonderbu rg Drive. Interment will be at 5:30 p.m. at Serenity Meadows Memorial Park, Riverview. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Serenity Meadows Funeral Home, 6919 Providence Road. Donations may be made in Chris' memory to Rotary's Camp Florida, 1915 Camp Florida Road, Brandon, FL 33510, the Florida 4-H Foundation, P.O. Box 110225, Gainesville, FL 32611, or a scholarship in Chris' memory to the University of Florida Foundation, c/o Myra F. Morgan, University of Florida, P.O. Box 118505, Gainesville, FL 32611-8505.
Published in TBO.com from May 4 to May 5, 2005.