Howell "Hal" Tompkins Jr. '62 August 16, 2022 3:31 PM updated: August 16, 2022 3:39 PM
Howell Arthur Tompkins, Jr.
December 16, 1939 - August 6, 2022
Howell “Hal” Arthur Tompkins, Jr., 82, of George West, Texas passed away Saturday, August 6, 2022 surrounded by friends and family.
Hal was born December 16, 1939, in Houston to Howell Arthur Tompkins Sr. and Margaret (West) Tompkins. After graduating from Stephen F. Austin High School, he studied civil engineering at Texas A&M University in the class of ‘62. He married the love of his life, Earlyn Froelich, on September 3, 1960, in Houston. Hal served his country proudly in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Bronze Star with a Combat V for his bravery, and he was promoted to Generals Aide for two USMC Generals before being honorably discharged as a Marine Corps Captain in 1968. Returning to Houston, Hal worked for Puffer Sweiven for 20 years. He was known for his work ethic and interpersonal skills, and he ultimately led the company as president until his retirement in 1989.
Hal and Earlyn left Houston to make new memories in the open spaces of their ranch in South Texas. When he wasn’t watching wildlife in George West, he was on his boat in the Gulf of Mexico. With Hal as captain, the whole family enjoyed fishing out of Port Aransas, where he won Poco Bueno twice. “Poppy” ran a tight ship but was a patient teacher to his grandkids - whether it was cheering, “wind, wind, wind,” with a billfish on the line or sharing quiet early morning moments in the deer blind. After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2010, Hal and Earlyn’s lives slowed down to enjoy peaceful days along the Sabinal River in Utopia, Texas, where he entertained family and friends with his stories. A proud Aggie, Hal began a family legacy at Texas A&M that continued through his sons and several of his grandchildren. He was a member of Shriners International.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret West Phillips; and his father, Howell Arthur Tompkins Sr. Left behind to cherish fond memories include his loving wife of almost 62 years, Earlyn Tompkins of George West; his brother, Robert Russel Tompkins (Dorothy); two sons, Kent E. (Kimberly) Tompkins and Kurt W. (Shelley) Tompkins; five grandchildren, Riley, Reid (Jenna), Reagan, Hannah and Izabelle “Izzie”; and one great-grandchild, Hallie.
Hal was a believer in Jesus and always said he felt closest to God on the water. We trust that he is experiencing that peace even deeper now and we can’t wait to see him again one day.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, August 19, at Brush Country Cowboy Church with Pastor Pat Traxler officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Freedom Alliance, the Costa Rica fishing program in particular, to support wounded veterans in Hal’s memory.