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Stephanie Bell Tompkins

July 1, 2019 | 14 comments

Stephanie Bell Tompkins of Austin, Texas and Onalaska, Wisconsin passed away peacefully at age 74 from complications due to lung cancer at 5:50 p.m. on June 28th. She was still up and about the prior evening, but checked into Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse, Wisconsin at 9:30 a.m. that morning. There were better days and tougher days throughout her journey but her spirits remained good through the end. She even cracked a few jokes with the firefighters who helped her to the hospital.

Stephanie was born in Waukegan, Illinois on August 13, 1944 to parents Francis Marion and Evelyn Berniece “Niecy” (Moon) Culbertson while her father served in the U.S. Navy at the Great Lakes Naval Station. Her father passed away in 1950 and she grew up considering her beloved cousin William Fairfax Schwartz to be her brother. They spent their shared childhood in Greene, Iowa, Washington, D.C., and finally Rochester, Minnesota, where she met her husband of 52 years, Donald William Tompkins, at a high school dance. She attended the University of Minnesota, graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, then married Donald in 1967.

She had a long, successful teaching career, specializing in working with at-risk youth. Her passionate nature and oftentimes unique perspective served her well in that role. She was blessed with many long lasting friendships in Austin and the Midwest. In recent years, she cherished time spent with a close knit group of avid volunteers at Seton Northwest Hospital in Austin.

Stephanie is survived by her husband, Don; children, Michael and Hilary; and  Grandchildren, Kevin, Alyssa, Clara, Olivia, and Dakota, through whom her love of card games, jigsaw puzzles, and crosswords lives on.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her honor to Gundersen Hospice to thank them for the amazing care she received. It is important to designate HOSPICE in either the online “designation” box or in the check memo, if by mail. The web address is: https://foundation.gundersenhealth.org/donate-now or, if donating by check, please mail to: Gundersen Medical Foundation (with HOSPICE in the memo line) 1836 South Ave., La Crosse, WI 54601. The family will be holding private services at a later date.



  1. Susan Fossen

    Dear Don and Family,
    I am so very sorry to hear of Stevie’s death. She will be fondly remembered and will be missed.
    Hugs to you, Don.
    Susan Fossen

    • Yvonne Kammerer

      Tompkins Family, I am so sorry for your loss. We had so much fun in our little golf group. Lots of memories and good times.

  2. Diane DePoppe

    Don and family……our deepest sympathy to all of you. I know it was a tough journey for her near the end. Lot of good memories of fun times with your family. I will be getting a card off to you today. Wayne & Diane

  3. Hilary Tompkins-Adamson

    Mom, you are an amazing spirit. Your fire for love, laughter and having a good time are something that I promise to continue in your honor. You have been an amazing part of my life, and for that I will always be grateful. Love, hil, your little sunshine

  4. Susan Hunter

    I am one of the lucky people who knew Stevie while volunteering at Seton NW in Austin. She is missed by the numerous people she touched there. She is missed. My prayers to the family and close friends.

  5. Ahmed Chibib

    My condolences to Don, Michael and Hilary and the entire Tompkins family. I had the privilege to volunteer with Stevie at Seton Northwest Hospital. Her sense of humor Made volunteering so much more enjoyable. She will truly missed by all of us.

  6. Ryan Kalis

    Continuing to send lots of prayers, positive thoughts & love to Uncle Don, Hil, Mike & their families… We love you & miss you Aunt Stevie. – Ryan, Sasha, Haley, Drew & Parker

  7. Suzee W.

    Stevie was a one of a kind. She played a significant role in the childhood of our self made family of Texas transplants. I will always be grateful for that unique time. God bless her now in heaven, and grant her family peace.

  8. Teri Baus

    Don and family…our deepest sympathy to all of you. Stevie was an awesome woman, she surely will be missed in the neighborhood. She fought a tough battle and always remained positive and had a smile. You are all in our thoughts and prayers…until we meet again Stevie…RIP

  9. Celeste Bowman

    Don and Hillary, such a wonderful energy Stevie had. I am just so sorry for your loss. I am so grateful I knew her.

  10. Connie and Ron Ruple

    Don and Family, Our hearts mourn with you. Stevie will be missed for her humor and wit. Also, She taught us to LOVE the Sat. and Sun. crossword puzzles.

  11. Leslie Preston

    I am so sorry for your loss. Stevie was always fun to be around, even though I didn’t see her much except for thanksgiving and other family activities. Loved her food she brought for the holiday celebrations! Many prayers to Hilary, Don, and Michael and your extended family and friends. She will be missed. She is with you all in spirit. Cherish your memories.

  12. Tom & Kathy Manning

    Our sincere condolences to Stevie’s family. I enjoyed working with her on the HOA Board, and her humour and quick wit will sure be missed.

  13. Keith Thompson

    So sorry to hear this. Many enjoyable picnics over the years. Prayers to Don and family.

    Keith and Mardella.

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