Downey High grad Gerald Tompkins passes away

DOWNEY – Gerald Bunker Tompkins, born in Downey on Jan. 17, 1924, died March 31. 

He attended Downey High School where he met and married his childhood sweetheart, Bettie Norman. 

He promised to marry her if he got a leave from the Army Air Corp aviation training before he was sent out of state. He got his leave and they were married March 14, 1945. 

Gerald and Bettie raised their son and four daughters in Downey. Gerald worked for North American Rockwell (now Boeing) in Downey as an engineer and was involved with the Apollo space project. 

Bettie passed on May 5, 2013. Gerald is survived by his son, Hal, and daughter-in-law, Sandy; daughter, Shirley, and son-in-law, Russ; daughter, Jerry, and son-in-law, Bob; daughter, Terri; daughter, Beth, and son-in-law, Steve; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. 

There will be a short visitation at Miller Mies Mortuary Friday, April 24, from 9:30-10 a.m., followed by the burial at Downey Cemetery at 10:30 a.m. 

A memorial service will be held at MIller Mies Mortuary April 25 at 11 a.m.