Terrence M. “Terry” Tonkin

Terrence M. “Terry” Tonkin

October 21, 1942 – March 23, 2020


Terrence “Terry” Tonkin, long time Omaha resident passed away March 23rd, after a hard-fought battle with Parkinson’s.

Terry, aka “Papa”, was born and raised in Hastings, NE.  His job as a paper boy began his lifelong passion for reading any and every newspaper.

Terry graduated from St. Cecilia’s high school where he was a tennis State Champion.  He then went on to get his degree from Creighton University.

He married his high school sweetheart, Judy Schaffroth in 1965 and had four children.

Terry spent his career of 32 years at Mutual of Omaha.  In his retirement he had his dream job of driving cars across the US for Baxter Auto Group.

Terry was preceded in death by his parents and brother.  He is survived by his wife, Judy; son, Brad in Sweden; daughters: Julie Matulevicz, Lisa Cope (Troy), and Tracy Dyke (Sean) all of Omaha, ten grandchildren; sister, Kay Peters (Roger) of Juniata; many nieces & nephews.

Private family INTERMENT.  CELEBRATION OF LIFE to be scheduled later.  In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Cecilia Catholic School in Hastings, NE or the Parkinson’s Foundation.






  • James D. Fogarty Posted March 25, 2020 9:33 am

    I had the honor of playing tennis with Terry on the Creighton University team in 1963-67. In doubles, Terry and I once defeated the number one doubles team at the University of Nebraska. He was quite proud of that. I’ll miss him as surely as his family will. My best to you all. – Jim Fogarty

  • Thomas Lang Posted March 26, 2020 9:39 am

    The Lang Family sends their prayers and condolences to the Tonkin Family. Terry was a neighbor on Westwood Lane in Omaha while we lived there. He was a great guy with a cheery “hello” whenever we would meet. May he be at rest in Jesus’ arms.

  • Louise Reitz Posted March 26, 2020 10:09 am

    Judy and family. Sorry to learn of Terry’s passing. My condolences. I worked for Terry at Mutual of Omaha in Corrective Action as his secretary. It was the best job I ever had. Terry would come in the morning with his newspapers under arm and come over and do a high five every day with me.. It was a pleasure to work for him.

  • Rob & Robin Troupe Posted March 26, 2020 10:14 am

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Judy, Brad, Julie, Lisa and Tracy during this difficult time. Terry was one-of-a kind and we will always remember his smile, his love of newspapers and his unwavering devotion to the Creighton Bluejays and Detroit Tigers! Eternal rest grant unto Terry, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

  • Deb Hilger Coniglio Posted March 26, 2020 11:52 am

    My heartfelt condolences to the Tonkin family. Terry had such a gentle nature and I always felt warmth from him. Memories of that come to mind. I know he fought hard and he had a lot of love surrounding him always. Take care of each other.

  • Eileen O’Connor Posted March 26, 2020 9:11 pm

    You have my sympathy! I worked with Terry at Mutual! He was a great guy!

  • Sr. Pamela Marie Volland, RGS Posted March 27, 2020 11:24 pm

    Terry and I were both neighbors and classmates in Hastings growing up. He has had a wonderful life and has been a faithful husband and dad.. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Judy, Brad, Julie, Lisa and Tracy. We will have Mass offered for Terry as soon as possible. In the meantime, we are lifting you all up in prayer.> May you know abundant comfort and blessing at this time. Sr. Pamela Marie Volland, RGS Beijing

  • Scott and Colleen Schreiner and Family Posted March 31, 2020 8:29 pm

    So many memories of visiting Uncle Terry and Aunt Judy in Omaha and seeing them at family get togethers in Hastings. Big Fred’s Pizza…Papa Ray’s….I was always so excited when he would watch us race at the State Track Meet at Burke. He’s the Uncle every kid wants and deserves. Our thought and prayers to Judy and the rest of the family.

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