BLUFFTON – B. Thomas Tinkel, 77, Bluffton, passed away at 4:50 p.m. Aug. 20, 2014, at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.
He was born May 7, 1937, in Bluffton, to Dale D. and Mary E. Brown Tinkel.
He graduated from Liberty Center High School with the class of 1955. In 1959, he graduated from Purdue University with his bachelor’s degree in education. He obtained his master’s degree in education and counseling from Ball State University and a certificate of psychometry. He taught in the Montpelier, Bluffton and Huntington school systems. While working as a science teacher and counselor at Bluffton, he also was the coach of the eighth-grade basketball team and an assistant varsity coach along with coaching baseball and golf.
He started the special education program at North Adams Community School, where he worked for 11 years. He also worked for 20 years at Crossroads Children’s Home in Fort Wayne, where he was the director of education. He also served as the director of the Huntington/Whitley County Special Education Co-op program, from which he retired. He was very active in the State of Indiana Special Education Association.
He was a longtime member and former president of the Parlor City Country Club and a scratch golfer. Tom loved Indy racing and was an avid sports fan. He spent many years as a high school varsity football official and was a member of the Liberty Center Baptist Church.
Survivors include four children; Scott (and spouse Janet) Tinkel, New Hope, Pa.; Julie Bennett, Fort Wayne; Amy (and spouse James) Atkinson, Phoenix, Ariz.; and Larson (and spouse Amy) Maniford, Middlebury; six grandchildren of whom he was proud; Madison Lynn and Spencer Thomas Tinkel; Jackson Phillip and Ashlynn Grace Bennett; Brekken Thomas and Asher Jett Maniford; and a sister, Sarah Huffman, Liberty Center.
Services will be at 10:30 Monday at Thoma/Rich, Lemler Funeral Home, Bluffton, with Pastor Aaron Westfall officiating.
Calling is from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday and one hour prior to services Monday at the funeral home.
Memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Riley Hospital for children through the funeral home.
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