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Claudia  Beatrice  Tompkins
     Claudia Beatrice Tompkins, 95, of Hooker County, passed away Dec. 3, at Linden Court while recovering from major surgery. Claudia was born June 29, 1917 to William Russell and Edythe Machlan in Weldon, Iowa.
     The family soon moved to ranches outside of Seneca and Mullen, finally settling on a ranch southeast of Mullen.
     While at Mullen High School, Claudia chose to be involved in “Normal Training” for teaching from Chadron Teacher''s college. She graduated from Mullen High in 1934 at age 16 with a Normal Training Teacher''s Certificate and High School Diploma.
     She began a teaching career in the Hardy School southeast of Mullen, a one room school house. Afterwards, Claudia traveled to the rural schools in the area, teaching art. She toured 37 states with other teachers during the Great Depression.
     Claudia married Glen Tompkins on October 23, 1941.
     She returned to school and earned a Bachelor degree in Education with a minor in art in August, 1968. Claudia continued to teach until her retirement in 1979.
     Claudia was involved heavily in community and church organizations. Her most significant efforts surrounded the organization of the Hooker County Historical Society, the Alumni Association, the Hooker County Centennial Committee and the United Methodist Church. Claudia also submitted a design for the Nebraska quarter and was a student of calligraphy. Many people in Hooker County and beyond have certificates and engravings printed by Claudia. The Sandhills was the primary theme for her work.
     Claudia''s priorities in life were family, teaching and community. At home, Claudia helped to create a great environment for her three children to grow up in.
     Untold memories abound as family gathered together for marathon pinochle games, enjoying great baked goods, food and salads. She loved golfing with Glen and watching over her family as they played yard darts. Claudia was a collector and family historian, probably best known for her pencil and coin collections.
     Claudia remained in the home that Glen built for her in 1964 until 2010 when she entered the care center at Pioneer Memorial Rest Home in Mullen.
     Claudia is survived by Ronald Tompkins of Lincoln; Cheryl Valdes of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Daryl Tompkins and wife Trudi of Clarinda, Iowa; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
     She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; son, Russell Herbert Tompkins; and daughter-in-law Janet Elaine Tompkins (Bradley).
     Memorials are suggested to the Hooker County Historical Society.
     Funeral services were at 10:30 a.m. MST Dec. 8, at the United Methodist Church in Mullen. Burial was at Cedar View Cemetery in Mullen.
     Mullen Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
First published in The North Platte Bulletin print edition on 12/12/2012
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