Dr. David F. Tomkins

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Dr. David F. Tomkins, 75, of Asbury, passed away peacefully Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at his home surrounded by his family.

A celebration of life will be held at Calvary Church in Muscatine on Dec. 17, 2022 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Burial will be held at Brown’s Cemetery in Colesburg in the spring.

David was born Oct. 10, 1947, son of J. Cecil and Margaret D. (Borne) Tomkins. He was united in marriage on Dec. 25, 1966, to Sandra Banks in Dubuque.

Dave received his undergrad from the University of Dubuque in 1969 and his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Iowa 1972. He then went on to do his post doctorate work at Columbia University in New York. Dave worked for Hoffmann-LaRoche Pharmaceuticals in Nutley, N.J., Monsanto Research Center located in St. Louis, Mo., and Monsanto Ag Division in Muscatine, where he earned the nickname Dr. Dave. He continued his work in toxicology at the University of Iowa Hygienic labs and finally retired in 2014. After 50 years, raising three children and multiple pets, Dave and Sandy returned to Dubuque with their dog Pennie.

Dave spent many years associated with Hillcrest Baptist Church in Muscatine, where he was a Deacon and an active member of the Youth Program. Later Dave and Sandy attended Calvary Church, also in Muscatine. David was also a lifelong member of the AOAC (Association of Analytical Chemists), and the American Judo Association, where he earned a 6th degree black belt and was proud to be called Sensi. Dave also enjoyed being on the family farm, tinkering with tractors, and later in life riding the trails on his scooter. One of his most cherished places was just sitting with his wife on the house swing. Dave loved all things green and yellow, flashlights, wooden boxes, power tools, and Johnny Cash. Dave’s family often joked that there was nothing that he couldn’t Jerry-rig.

For those who knew Dave, his bigger than life smile and sense of humor was hard to forget.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Sandy Tomkins of Asbury; three children, James (Christiana) Tomkins of Muscatine, Joshua (Sandra) Tomkins of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Rachel (Charles) Rummery of Asbury. He was proud of his six grandchildren, Isaac (Sabrina), Noah (Amber), Joshua, Madisen, Julien, and Katti (Tristan); he was blessed with one great-grandchild, Callum. Dave is also survived by his three sisters, Mickey (David) Buechele of Dubuque, Debbie (Tim) Cerling of Minneapolis, Minn., Becky (Ken) Elliott of Irma, Wis., one brother, Scott (Laurie) Tomkins of Springfield, Ill., and Steve (Rose) Meyer of New Vienna.

He is preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Jim (Sherrie) Tomkins, and his dogs, Shodan, Max, JoJo, and Pennie.

The family has set up a memorial fund in lieu of flowers for It Takes a Village Animal Rescue, located in Muscatine.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

1st Corinthians 15:51-52: “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”

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