Obituary: John C. Tompkins


John C. Tompkins, 69, of Tucson, Ariz., passed on June 2, 2023.
He was born Aug. 2, 1953, in Greensboro, N.C. John attended Culver Military Academy, Illiana Christian High School and Calvin College.
John grew up in a newspaper family and at the young age of 21 purchased The Rochelle News-Leader in 1975. For the next 48 years John grew News Media Corporation (NMC) to over 75 publications spanning nine states.
John was not only a newspaperman, he was a visionary entrepreneur and gifted strategist who was not afraid to take risks. John loved his “business family” and the unique communities that NMC serves.
Anyone who knew John would concur that he was larger than life and an extremely generous man. John was also a man of great faith and spent many years teaching Sunday school at City First Church and mentoring young men.
He was a voracious reader with a wealth of knowledge on copious topics. If you ever met with John you likely left with a book in hand.
John had many hobbies; he loved rodeo, Kung Fu, sailing and his beloved dog, Roscoe. John spent his final years “out West”— where he felt most at home. John taught his children God’s word, to walk in faith and to trust in the finished work of the cross — this is his greatest legacy. 
John is survived by his children Trina (Stephen) McNeilly, J.J. (Lindsay) Tompkins and Amy Tompkins; former wife and life-long friend Cindy Tompkins; grandchildren Ella, Luke, Liam, and Rocco McNeilly, Grace Wolfe, Hope and Lily Tompkins; sister Patricia (Bob) VanTil; brother Michael (Mary) Tompkins; cousins, nieces, and nephews.
He is pre-deceased by his parents John Edward Tompkins and Hilda Tompkins and nephew David Tompkins.
A memorial service will be at held at 11 a.m. on June 15 in the City First Church Chapel, 5950 Spring Creek Rd., Tucson, Ariz., with Pastor Dan Qualls officiating.
Visitation is from 9:30 a.m. until the start of the church service. 
To express condolences online, please visit