January 15, 1920 – December 27, 2019
A Former Oakland Resident
Ann Tompkins passed away peacefully on December 27, 2019 in Reno, Nevada at the age of 99. She was born in Philadelphia to parents Patrick and Julia Owens, both of whom were born in Ireland and emigrated to these shores while still in their teens. Patrick was born in Lislea, County Armagh and Julie was born in Rabbitboro, County Roscommon. Patrick moved his family out West where some other family members had settled. He had a home built in Oakland and worked for the Key System, which was a commuter train and streetcar/bus system linking East Bay to San Francisco.
Ann and John cherished raising their family in the Corpus Christi community of church and school and treasured their friendships with many families and parishioners from both Our Lady of Lourdes and Corpus Christi. They passionately believed in serving the wider community and giving back in the interest of making a difference and leaving the world a better place.
Ann and John invested heavily in laying a solid foundation in the lives of their seven children who graduated from Corpus Christi School, Holy Names and Bishop O’Dowd High Schools. They were proud of the educational paths they pursued and the roles they eventually assumed in life.
Ann’s Catholic education at St. Anthony’s and Holy Names High School was a precursor to her involvement in teaching Catechism to 4th graders at Corpus Christi School for 15 years, working there as school secretary for a number of years, serving on the Pre-Seminary Board under the direction of Bishop Floyd Begin to mentor youths interested in pursuing ordained ministry, and serving as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister during Mass. Her involvement with John in the Oakland Serra Club was further proof of her dedication to ministry and the wider church.
Ann treasured her home of 62 years and was undeniably the driving force as she campaigned vigorously against an entity that was determined to erect a series of cell tower antennae in the neighborhood.
This involved rallying neighbors from many blocks around, granting newspaper interviews and making appearances before the Oakland City Council. Her success was declared when the company finally threw up their hands and went in search of other property at a desirable elevation.
Over the years, Ann made many memorable trips to the Emerald Isle as her Irish roots and love for Irish cousins was important to her and felt Ireland kept calling her to return. She encouraged her children to travel to Ireland as well and meet all their cousins which will continue down through future generations. Ann’s children are very thankful and proud of their Irish ancestry which was instilled by their parents. Many of Ann’s Irish cousins crossed the pond in order to visit and spend time with the Yanks as well. These visits in both directions proved to be a mutual transatlantic blessing for all.
For several years, Ann lived at Five Star Senior Living, Reno, and developed many meaningful relationships. The family would like to thank them for their compassionate care in the last two months of Ann’s life. The family is thankful for Mel’s loving care which will never be forgotten.
Ann was predeceased by her husband of 63 years, John A. Tompkins, and her four sisters; Sister Catherine Owens R.S.M., Mary Fiore, Juliet Daniels and Helen Gilbert.
She is survived by her children Joanne Hale, Kathy Appell (Howard), John Tompkins (Victoria), David Tompkins, Rev. Terry Tompkins, Helen Tompkins, Julie Dyson (Thor), 13 Grandchildren and 21 Great Grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30am, Friday. Jan. 10th at Corpus Christi Church with a reception in Gibson Hall, 322 St. James Dr., Piedmont, 94611. Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Names High School in Oakland either by mail or online at hnhsoakland.org.
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