Bette Jo Tompkins, age 96, of McCook, NE passed away Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at Community Hospital in McCook, NE.
Bette Jo was born June 25, 1923 in Bartley, NE to parents David Alexander and Ethel Pearl (Anderson) McDowell. She was one of two siblings who grew up in Bartley, graduating from Bartley High School with the Class of 1940. Following high school, Bette Jo taught country school for several years before going on to attend Kearney State College, graduating with a Teaching Degree in 1947.
On July 27, 1949, Bette Jo married the love of her life, Lyle Frank Tompkins in McCook. The couple made their home in Wauneta before settling in McCook in 1957. They were parents to four children, Robert Bruce, Ronald Lyle, Mary Jo and Jeri Anne.
Bette Jo actively served in numerous organizations at Memorial United Methodist Church including the United Methodist Women as well as the Methodist Church Board. She was also involved in PEO-GY, the Retired Teachers Association, DOE, Eastern Star and the Bartley American Legion Auxiliary. Bette Jo was a high school business teacher at Wauneta, Red Willow and Republican Valley for over 29 years, and also enjoyed collecting stamps, cross stitch, crocheting, collecting angels, jigsaw puzzles, and caring for her rose garden.
Bette Jo was preceded in death by her parents; husband Lyle in 1989; son Robert Bruce Tompkins in 1998; and brother and sister in law, John and Virginia McDowell.
Those left to celebrate Bette Jo’s life include her son Ronald Lyle Tompkins of McCook; two daughters, Mary Jo (Daniel) Radil of Alma, NE and Jeri Anne (Kent Eickhoff) Brisbin of Kearney, NE; four grandchildren, Lacey (Bryce) Pearson of Hickman, NE, Quintin VerHagen of Plano, TX, Austin Radil of Alma, and Katy (Mikel Summers) Radil of Lincoln, NE; two nieces, Nancy Brune of Omaha, NE and Linda Sugar of Dillon, CO; as well as one great grandchild Henry Pearson and other extended family members and close friends.
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