Donald Lee Tompkins 1930 - 2022

Longtime Dayton/Grand Island resident Donald Lee Tompkins passed from this life on January 15, 2022. A fourth-generation Oregonian from the 1847 pioneer migration, “Donny” was born November 24, 1930, to Daniel and Clara (Pate) Tompkins. He grew up on the rich fertile soil of Grand Island into a heritage of farming, hunting, fishing and fun as well as hard work.

He graduated from Amity High School and married his wife of 71 years, Phylis Jean Nelson. They raised three children in a home they built on the same property as the schoolhouse where he attended grade school. The Tompkins worked hard and played hard. Annual summer horse camping trips to the mountains after the crops were planted and trips in the Piper Cub as far north to the Arctic Ocean and south to Panama were highlights of their many adventures. Don and Phylis traveled to Mexico over 40 years every winter, where they camped near the ocean and fished nearly every day for several months. “Grandpa Don," as he was affectionately called, taught many youngsters how to swim and fish. He will be missed by all.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Dan and Clara; brother, Dan “Butch”; sister, Joyce; and grandsons, Kevin and Greg. He is survived by his wife, Phylis; sister, Jackie (Ken) Hensley; son, Mike (Candi) Tompkins; daughters, Debra (Ken) Gould and Valerie Duty; as well as five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and a host of friends and relatives

A celebration of life is pending. To leave condolences, visit


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