Kenneth Ray Tompkins, Jan. 15, 1939-Oct. 8, 2012, of Columbia

Thursday, October 11, 2012 | 10:33 a.m. CDT; updated 3:20 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ken Tompkins was a guy with an unusual mind, a fellow who didn’t much like fuss or formality. He much preferred tinkering on a car or turning out oak woodwork in his workshop or having lunch at Country Kitchen with his buddies. He loved playing with words, and surely was the only 12 year old who ever begged his parents for a dictionary for Christmas. (Yes, he got one.) He loved playing devil’s advocate in a political argument, and he had a knack for spotting business opportunities.