Howard Christopher "Chris" Tompkins
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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.

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Published in TBO.com from May 4 to May 5, 2005.
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Memories & Condolences
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15 entries
May 19, 2005
Betty Jo, Melanie and I were so saddened when we heard of Chris's passing. We were in Isreal at this time and were not able to make the funeral. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. If you need anything please call. All the best! Alan & Melanie Feldman
Alan Feldman
May 17, 2005
Chris was an amazing man who touched the lives of many. He will be sorely missed. He did so many wonderful things in the short time he was with us. His accomplishments will always be an inspiration to me.
Rachel Sutz Pienta
May 17, 2005
Our deepest condolences during this difficult time.Lis died just 5 days before Chris. I know what you are going through. Two more brilliant lights now shine in heaven. Our prayers are with you. God Bless you Betty Jo and family.
Dallas Pavone Family
May 13, 2005
Betty Jo -- you may remember me from our days at UF together and later when I re-met you through Chris at UF. Over the years, Chris remained in contact. He was charming, smart, fiercely loyal and loved you without reservation. You and I used sit in the dorm room at Mallory and you were always so sure about your future. But I think now, we can say -- Chris was your greatest triumph. We all are better because Chris passed through our life. Chris Simpson (Movesian)
Christine Simpson
May 8, 2005
Betty Jo And family I am so very saddened by Chris's loss. I can hardly find the words to describe how I feel. Please except my deepest Sympathies and know you are in my prayers and Chris is an Angel in Heaven now.
Lynn Sames
May 7, 2005
I had the pleasure of knowing Chris through grade school, high school and 4H. What a leader and a shining example of a loving heart. Anyone who knew Chris was touched by his giving character. We have lost one of the finest examples of humanity. Someone told me a long time ago that when God takes a person home his work on earth is done. I truly believed that until I heard Chris had died. I guess God needed him more in heaven. Betty Jo; my prayers are with you and your family; may God give you strength and with time understanding.
Jennifer Hayes Cloudman
May 6, 2005
What a tragic loss...May God Bless you, Betty Jo, with peace that surpasses all understanding. We love you, Steve and Robin
Robin Odiorne
May 5, 2005
I knew and met Chris, Betty Jo and Big Chris when my mom worked at the Brandon Chamber. He was such a goal oriented, talented , intelligent, well-mannered individual who was the apple of his mother's eye. His accomplishments only scratch the surface about his love of life and how you could see how he was loved by his family and friends.
Lisa Dickelman
May 5, 2005
I am truly saddened to know that Chris is no longer with us. He was a great friend, fellow Rotarian, and fellow Republican. I was privileged to have him as my Legislative Assistant (96-'98)and he traveled these hallowed halls of the Florida House of Representatives dispensing his knowledge and expertise along with his quick wit and jovial smile. I shall treasure his friendship, and that of his mother, for as long as I live.
Representative Faye Culp
District 57 - Tampa
Florida House of Representatives
Faye Culp
May 5, 2005
We will always remember Chris as a person who gave much more than he ever received. He's the type of person that you hope and pray your children and grandchildren will be like. It was a privilege to know Chris and to work with him.

BJ, our prayers are with you and your family.
John & Bea Reifeis
May 5, 2005
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
Serenity Meadows Memorial Park & Funeral Home
May 4, 2005
Chris was a favorite 4th grade student whose enthusiasm for life and leadership made a lasting impression on me. I will miss his zest for life and his willingness to serve wherever needed.

He was an exemplary 4th grade class president. We had a new president every month and Chris was selected for the position 3 times. His classmates learned a great deal about what good leadership meant.

I am a cancer survivor and know what you must be going through.

We will contine to keep Chris and your family in our prayers.
Bonnie Folvarcik
May 4, 2005
Our heartfelt sympathy goes towards Chris' family in this time of sorrow. May God Bless you. The Bashams.
Michael & Denise Basham
May 4, 2005
I was priviledged to care for Chris during many of his hospitalizations in his fight against leukemia. He will be deeply missed by all who knew Chris as he had that unique talent for making people feel important, no matter what role they played in life. I have been blessed to know Chris.
Jennifer Lalau
May 3, 2005
To Chris, a warm and wonderful man. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to know you and take care of you. You put up a valiant fight but God needed another angel in His house. I will miss you my friend.
To Betty, you are a shining example of the pure love of a mother for her son. All my thoughts and prayers are with you. May you be sustained by the loving relationship you had with Chris. May God Bless you now and always.
Mary Beth Parry. RN
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