Leo J.
Tompkins Jr.


LEO JOSEPH TOMPKINS JR. was born on October 2, 1929 to Leo J. Tompkins Sr. and his wife, the former Cecilia Nichols. His father, a native of New York, had come to Camden after having served in the United States Navy during World War I and into the 1920s. Leo Tompkins Sr. appears to have come to Camden in the late 1920s. He is not listed in the 1924 or 1927 Camden City Directories. He was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on April 15, 1928 and reported for duty with Engine Company 2 the following day.

Leo Tompkins Sr. married Cecilia Nichols around the same time he was appointed to the Fire Department. The 1929 City Directory shows that he was working for the Fire Department and living at 1769 Norris Street. The 1930 Census shows Leo and Cecilia Tompkins, their children Mary and Leo J. Jr,, mother-in-law Mary and brother-in-law Walter Nichols living at 1769 Norris Street. Fire Department records from 1931 show that the Tompkins family had moved to 322 Erie Street in North Camden, not far from Engine Company 4, where he had been transferred to in 

August of 1930. On July 1, 1933 Leo Tompkins Sr. was assigned to Ladder Company 1, where he remained until November of 1942.  

Two more children were born to the family during the 1930s, Thomas and James Tompkins. At some point during the 1930s Leo and Cecilia Tompkins moved to 1282 South Merrimac Road in Camden's Fairview neighborhood. Leo Tompkins Sr. would live out his days at this address. The 1940 Census shows the Tompkins family and their four children, mother-in-law Mary Nichols, as well as Cecilia Tompkins' widower brother Richard Nichols and his sons Richard Jr. and Alfred all living at the Merrimac Avenue address.

With America going to war after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, many veterans were recalled to service. Leo Tompkins Sr. enlisted in the United States Navy on November 24, 1942 at Philadelphia and on December 26 reported for duty as Boatswain's Mate 1st Class aboard the USS PC-1121. In March of 1943 he was promoted to Chief Boatswain's Mate. Fire Department records indicate that he had returned from military service by December of 1944. On December 5 he was assigned to Engine Company 3 at 1813 Broadway. He was promoted to Captain on June 14, 1951. On June 16 he was assigned to Ladder Company 2 at 619 Kaighn Avenue. He was later served with the Fire Marshall's office, as Drillmaster at the Department's training facility, and with Radio Communications with the Electrical Bureau, where he served until retiring on pension January 1, 1964. A Camden resident to the last, Leo Tompkins Sr. passed away on July 1, 1976. His wife joined him in July of 1984.

Leo J. Tompkins Jr. grew up in Fairview and had a long and distinguished career with the Camden Police Department. He was appointed to the department in 1953 and retired in 1981. Leo Tompkins married Catherine Dolores Oakes of Gloucester City. Thee were two children from this marriage, Steven and Michael Tompkins. The Tompkins lived for many years at 2944 North Constitution Road in Fairview, and were active in local civic affairs. In 1964 Leo Tompkins Jr. was president of the I.C.A.C., The Independent Citizens Athletic Club of Fairview, which stood for many years at 1250 Collings Road, and was one of the two social clubs in Fairview that had a liquor license. The Tompkins were active members of St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church in Fairview, and also supported the Fairview Little League.

Last a resident of Mt. Ephraim, New Jersey, Leo Tompkins Jr. passed away on October 19, 2004. He was buried at New St. Mary's Cemetery in Bellmawr. Catherine Tompkins joined him in November of 2011.

Camden Courier-Post - December 24, 1957


South 3rd Street
James Johnson
William D. Neale
Leo Tomkins
Anthony Marino
Wilfred L. Dube
Nathan Jones
William O'Brien
Edward Fulton
Russell Young
John Huston
Vincent Conley

James P. McLaughlin

James W. Atkins
Evalena Watkins
Willie Simmons Carl H. Perry

West Jersey Hospital

1964

In 1964, President Leo Tompkins presents the Citizen of Fairview Award to John Daly. John was a local businessman who was active with the children and other sports teams of the community. He sponsored many teams throughout a long period of service to the community.


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