William Tompkins

Obituary of William David Tompkins

February 18, 1947 – Cardston, Alberta

November 30, 2023 – Calgary, Alberta


William (Bill) David Tompkins passed away on Thursday, November 30, 2023. He was born in 1947 in Cardston, AB, where his father started a medical practice, and later moved to Vulcan, AB. Bill attended elementary and high school in Vulcan and pursued studies in piano and music theory privately in Lethbridge. He also played the organ at Vulcan United Church.


He continued his studies in music at universities in Calgary, Vancouver (UBC), and Los Angeles (UCLA), attaining master’s and doctorate degrees specializing in ethnomusicology. Bill’s scholastic research into Black music and culture in Peru was ground-breaking and was used as the foundation for further research by other scholars. He completed several publications, books, and articles.


While living in Los Angeles, he taught at a Spanish Christian college and was also music minister at several different churches during his 20 years in L.A. County. He was also on staff with Focus on the Family and Victory Outreach International, a large ministry founded in Los Angeles to rehabilitate addicts and street gang members.


Bill studied Stanislavski’s method acting and was a member of The Loft Theatre Group in Hollywood where he acted in numerous stage plays. He also was a playwright, director, and composer of plays and musicals. His other passions included social justice, travel, eating in ethnic restaurants, scuba diving, and making music with other musicians. He enjoyed swimming, cycling, horseback riding, and hiking, and even played a little football in high school and college.


Bill returned to Canada to help his parents on their acreage near Vulcan. He also assisted his sister, Val, who was the principal at Brant Christian School by composing and directing a musical play with nine original songs for the school. This was performed in Brant, Vulcan, High River, and surrounding towns. He eventually got a position working with Komex International/WorleyParsons, an environmental engineering company in Calgary, where he developed their Marketing and Communications department until he retired.


Bill’s greatest joy was teaching his piano and classroom students and playing worship and praise songs in the church. He has faced considerable challenges throughout his life and found the teachings of Jesus Christ to be life-changing. He also followed the teachings of Lao Tse and Eckhardt Tolle, whose book, A New Earth, gave him a new perspective on life and consciousness.


Bill is survived by his BFF Weidong Niu, his sister Janet Tompkins, brother Mel Tompkins (Terri Standfield), and nephew Aaron Tompkins (Jose Lynch). He is predeceased by his parents Dr. Allan and Elsie Tompkins, and sister Valerie Tompkins.


Memorial Services will be held at McInnis & Holloway (Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street N, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6) on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 2:30 p.m. 


If friends so desire, memorial tributes in honour of Bill may be made to Hope Mission (PO Box 85082, Calgary, AB T2A 7R7), https://hopemission.com/donate/.


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Bill's family here.


In living memory of William (Bill) Tompkins, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-243-8200.


Memorial Service

2:30 pm
Saturday, May 4, 2024
Chapel of the Bells
2720 Centre St N
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
(403) 276-2296
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