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Life Story / Obituary
Allan Tompsett was a man of strong family values. He modeled a life rich with hard work, putting others first, and being a loyal husband to the woman he loved. Allan had a real knack for fixing just about anything and was relied on by many over the years for help or advice with various projects. Always more than willing to lend a helping hand, he found great pleasure in sharing his time and resources with others. His warm personality, cheerful demeanor, and steady patience will be lovingly remembered for generations to come.
The Thirties were being marked by tough economic times, yet the decade also saw an expansion of new technologies, especially in the fields of aviation, radio, and film. In 1936 for example, Kodachrome was invented and remained a leader in both cinematography and still photography for many years. In the same year, the Boulder Dam, later renamed the Hoover Dam, was completed and Jesse Owens dominated the Berlin Olympics. Bringing great joy to their world, Clayton and Erma Tompsett welcomed home the last of their seven children, Allan, on May 31st, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Allan’s childhood was typical of the times. The siblings all pitched in to help look after one another while their father went to work as a carpenter and their mother tended to the daily household tasks. Struggling to make ends meet in a tough era, holidays were typically meager with homemade gifts and a tree cut from their own property. By the tender age of thirteen, Allan saw the need to leave school in order to help provide for the family. He went to work with his Dad learning the craft of building; a passion he held for the rest of his life. With a strong will to serve the country he loved, Allan enlisted in the National Guard serving for several years until he later joined the United States Army. While with the army, he was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska for nearly most of his two-year military career.
As soon as he was discharged, he met the love of his life, Barbara Teunis. Set up on a blind date by his army buddy’s girlfriend, it didn’t take them any time at all to see they were fit for one another. A true gentleman, by their third date he had already bought her a ring. Roughly eight weeks later, they joined in marriage at the Comstock Park City Hall and the rest is history! He took a job with Pig Pen Restaurant as a cook and raced cars at the Speedrome off North Park Avenue and drag raced in Stanton before they started their family. Moving a remarkable twelve times in their first eleven years of marriage, Barb was no stranger to packing boxes and children! By 1971, the happy couple and their four children moved to their home at 3275 LaRue Street SW where they spent many years remodeling it to their liking. Allan was a good provider and worked many jobs over the years. Starting out with Wagner Mussee Builders before landing work with Pioneer Construction, where he remained until he retired after thirty years.
As a father, Allan was very involved. He loved coaching his sons’ Little League baseball games in Grandville as well as introducing them to the patience and skills needed for working on cars. He treasured their time together and enjoyed years of camping with them on rustic sites in area state parks and forests. There simply wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for each of them. Stern at times, he was very supportive and wanted nothing more than for his children to find happiness and success. It came as no surprise that Allan was delighted when his grandchildren arrived! Just as his experience was as a father, he was thrilled to attend each and every sporting event, school performance, and celebration that he could. They were his greatest joy and he was proud of each and every one of them!
Retirement brought Allan much needed time to enjoy his many special interests. When he wasn’t helping out a friend or family member with a house project or two, he and Barb loved to attend area car shows. They earned more than 300 trophies over the years for their 1957 Chevy Truck that Allan kept in mint condition. He loved nothing more than to show it off and drive away grinning with another accomplishment! For relaxation, he also treasured time on the golf course with his good buddies. A true Michigander, he loved to take in the lake shore and drive up to Mackinac Island as well as walk Grand Haven’s beautiful boardwalk where he could watch the boats go in and out of the Grand River. During the colder winter months, he enjoyed old Westerns on TV and the music of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings brought back memories of days gone by. Happy-go-lucky with a generous spirit, Allan will be deeply missed by his special family and close friends. His wonderful collection of memories will be etched in their hearts forever.
Allan D. Tompsett of Grandville, MI, age 81, passed away on July 14, 2017, at home with his loving family at his side. Allan was born in Grand Rapids on May 31, 1936, to the late Clayton and Erma Tompsett. On August 1, 1960, he was married to Barbara Teunis. Allan was a skilled carpenter who loved his family and his 57' Chevy Truck. He is survived by his wife of 56 years; children, Tammy (Mark) Bidwell of Holland, Michael Tompsett of Baytown, TX, Todd (Lori) Tompsett of Wyoming, Geraldine Pompey of Georgia; 11 grandchildren; and 10 great grandchildren. Allan was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters, Penny, Dorothy, Arnie, Carl, Richard, and Geraldine. A funeral service will be held on Monday, July 17th at 1 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Friends may visit with the family beginning at 11 AM. Entombment will be in Rosedale Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to the American Lung Association. Please visit Allan's personal web page to leave a memory or a condolence at www.lifestorynet.com.