Tricia Jo Tompkins, 41, went to be with her Lord on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, holding the hands of the people she loved most. Her courage and faith remained with her as she “fought to the end.” The family will receive friends from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday at Myers & Smith Funeral Home. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Myers & Smith Chapel with Dr. Doug Shelley, pastor of East Side Baptist Church, officiating. Burial will be at Trinity Memorial Park.
Tricia is survived by her husband Ron Ballard of Ralls; her beloved mother Rhonda Leal and step father Jimmy Leal; her brother Troy Tompkins and wife Dana; her sister Tonya Graves and husband Mike, all of Big Spring, Texas; step-grandmother Marie Tompkins of Buchanan Dam, Texas, and the five most important people in her life (listed in birth order as Tricia would have it,) Katie Tompkins-Wilkerson, Macy Jo Graves, Matthew Tompkins, Tyler Graves and Meagan (Weezer) Graves. She is also survived by Katie’s husband, Jared Wilkerson and an abundance of precious friends and family members.
She was preceded in death by her father, Tommy Tompkins, paternal grandparents Charles and Mattie Bell Tompkins, maternal grandparents Clyde and Freda Walker, as well as by the light of her life, her dog, Jack Walker Tompkins.
Tricia was born on April 29, 1972, in Big Spring, Texas. Growing up, she was a lover of all things outdoors and was quite the tomboy. She loved her pets, riding her three-wheeler with the neighborhood boys, water skiing, snow skiing, sports, hunting, and dirt bikes. She graduated from Big Spring High School in 1990 and remained a Steer fan for life. She attended Howard College and then Texas Tech University where she graduated with honors and received her bachelors of science degree in Spanish in 1995.
Tricia was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She was active with Ronald McDonald House, CASA, and Habitat for Humanity where she helped build several homes. During college, Tricia spent a summer living with a host family and studying in Mexico in San Luis Potosi, where she learned an even greater love of the language and culture.
She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis as a senior at Tech. This devastating diagnosis did not define nor stop her. After graduation from Tech, she taught Spanish at Coahoma High School in Coahoma, Texas, for one year and at Mackenzie Junior High in Lubbock, Texas for one year.
Despite her MS and the need for a wheel chair, she went back to Texas Tech and graduated with honors, receiving her masters of business administration in 1999. She worked at Covenant Health Systems as a Project Manager until she was no longer physically able to because of her illness.
During her time in Lubbock, Tricia started an MS support group which she named ULTRA (Understand, Live, Transcend, Respect, Advocate). This support group continues to help those diagnosed with MS. In addition, Tricia co-chaired the MS Walk in Big Spring for two years and went to Austin to speak to the legislators regarding long-term health care.
She was very proactive in bringing light to MS. More important than that, however, was Tricia’s ability to bring light to the precious things in life. For her, the most precious things in her life were her five nieces and nephews: Katie, Macy, Matthew, Tyler, and Meagan.
She adored them, had many hilarious adventures with them, called them by affectionate nicknames, and considered them her own. Tricia, although a handful and a real spit-fire, was a witness to all she came in contact with. Through her spirit and magnetic personality, she taught God’s grace, true courage, patience, and to always smile, whether she was walking down the aisle (yes.walking) to marry her husband, Ron, in the nursing home, or in her last moment on earth in ICU. It is with her smile in my mind and a smile on my face that I write this for her. As she said to me shortly before she went to be with God, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”(Romans 8:28) Tricia, to know you was to love you. You will always be a prince for God.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to UMC Health System, 602 Indiana Avenue, Lubbock, Texas 79415.
Pallbearers will be Chad Freeman, Jeff Rutledge, Tim McQueary, Jimmy Leal, Carey Walker, and Jim Wilson.
Arrangements are by Myers & Smith Funeral Home. Pay your respects online at www.myersandsmith.com