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home : news : history May 25, 2016

2/5/2014 10:43:00 AM
Dugout Creek Bridge named for Larry Tomlinson
Phil Tomlinson
Phil Tomlinson

While the new bridge over the Cimarron river south of Perkins is named for Phil Tomlinson, the new bridge over Dugout creek is named for another Tomlinson brother, Larry.

Larry Tomlinson was very involved in serving the Perkins community. He was a longtime member of the Perkins Lions Club, Perkins Historical Society, and Friends of the Library Committee. He also served as a city council member, taught computer skills classes at the Thomas-Wilhite Library, and also volunteered at Perkins-Tryon Elementary where he tutored struggling readers.

In 2013, the Oklahoma Legislature approved a measure naming the bridge the Larry Tomlinson Memorial Bridge on a recommendation from the Perkins Chamber of Commerce and the Perkins Community Foundation.

Larry S. Tomlinson was born on April 2, 1943, to Jim and Olga Tomlinson in Anadarko, Oklahoma. The family moved to Perkins in the early 1950's and Perkins became Larry's hometown. He attended school here, worked on the family's farm, was active in FFA under Mr. Paul Evans' leadership, and played his favorite sport, basketball, standing 6 feet 8 inches his junior year.

On the evening of May 15, 1959, a farming accident forever changed Larry's life, but it did not change his attitude towards life. Those who knew Larry were touched by his courage, discipline and good humor in facing and overcoming so very many obstacles that would follow in the next fifty-two years.

He went on to graduate from Perkins High School with his class in 1960 and to earn Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Accounting from Oklahoma State University. He then worked for OSU, his last position before retiring to Perkins in 1978, as the Grants Management Officer for the Department of Education.

Some of his happiest working hours after retirement were spent outdoors with his family and his children on his land east of Perkins, taking care of cattle or fishing, or precariously balancing in his wheelchair on the side of a hill bringing down many cedar trees from powerful one-handed swings with an axe.

He was a loyal OSU Cowboys sports fan and held season tickets for football and basketball for many years. He was also a loyal Perkins-Tryon fan and enjoyed watching his grandsons play football, basketball, baseball, and run track. To Larry, any times spent with his family and his friends were the best times of all.

Larry died on April 16, 2011. His uncommon courage and determination serve as an eternal example to all those who had the honor to know him.

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