John Tonkinson, 75, formerly of Mt. Pleasant, died May 11, at his home in California after a lengthy illness.
Funeral services will be held on June 8 at 5:15 p.m. at the Point Vicente Interpretative Center, West, Calif.
In lieu of flowers be sent to the State University of Iowa Foundation (P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244) in support of the John A. Tonkinson Engineering Scholarship. Please make note of the scholarship name on any donation.
He was born in Bell, California, but spent most of his childhood in Mt. Pleasant, where he was known as “Jack.” After receiving his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the State University of Iowa in 1961, he moved to San Diego, Calif., to work for Astronautics on the Atlas missile. In 1962, he and his wife, Jane, moved to the Los Angeles area where he worked for Northrop Corporation for the next 30 years. In 1967, he received his master’s degree from the University of Southern California. At Northrop, he contributed to many defense programs, including the F-5, F-20 and F-18 fighters and the B-2 stealth bomber. He retired from Northrop in 1995 and then consulted for the the RAND Corporation from 1997 to 2012.
He enjoyed astronomy, architecture, tennis, jazz and the theater. He was a charter member of the South End Racquet Club.
He is survived by his wife; and daughter, Pamela, of Arlington, Va.