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Funeral Held For Former Pleasantville Fire Chief Tompkins

Photo Credit: Contributed

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - Funeral services were held last week for Russell Gilbert Tompkins, a former Pleasantville Fire Department Chief who died May 1 at the age of 94.

Tompkins was the son of Russell and Anna Kramer Tompkins and was born in the Bronx on Oct. 9, 1919. He graduated Pleasantville High School and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. During World War II Russell served in the Army and received a battle field commission to Warrant Officer while serving in the invasion of North Africa.

After the war he married the late Alice E. Berrien at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Pleasantville on Nov. 17, 1946. He is survived by his daughter Sharon Lynn (Kenneth) Foley and his son Bruce (Donna) Tompkins and three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Russell was also pre-deceased by his grandson Kenneth Foley III.

Tompkins  worked for the Bank of New York, from which he retired as Vice President in 1983. He also joined the Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department in 1941 and served as Captain of the Hook and Ladder Company, became Chief of the Department, and then served for 34 years as a Commissioner on the Board of Fire Commissioners, and for many years was the Chairman of the Board.

Tompkins Avenue in Pleasantville is named after his family.

Tompkins also served for 14 years on the Board of the Pleasantville Ambulance Corps as Treasurer. He also became a member of the Pleasantville Rotary Club and received its Paul Harris Award.

He was also a charter member of the Thornwood Rotary Club.

As a member of the St. John’s Episcopal Church he served as a vestryman. In recognition for his lifelong dedication to Pleasantville and to service to the community he was elected Pleasantville’s Citizen of the Year in 1990 and was honored once again in 1997 for his valuable contribution to the community during his lifetime.

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