B. Thomas Tinkel, 77

Posted on August 22, 2014

B. Thomas Tinkel, 77 of Bluffton, passed away at 4:50 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.
Tom was born on 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 B.S. 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 8th grade basketball team, an assistant varsity coach, along with coaching baseball and golf.
Mr. Tinkel started the special education program at North Adams Community Schools, 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, where 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 his children: Scott (Janet) Tinkel of New Hope, Pa., Julie Bennett of Fort Wayne, Amy (James) Atkinson of Phoenix, Ariz., and Larson (Amy) Maniford of Middlebury, Ind. He was proud of his six grandchildren: Madison Lynn Tinkel, Spencer Thomas Tinkel, Jackson Phillip Bennett, Ashlynn Grace Bennett, Brekken Thomas Maniford and Asher Jett Maniford. He is also survived by a sister, Sarah Huffman of Liberty Center.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Thoma/Rich, Lemler Funeral Home in Bluffton.  Funeral services will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 25, in the funeral home with calling for one hour prior to the service. Pastor Aaron Westfall will officiate.  
Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Riley Hospital for children through the funeral home. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Thoma/Rich, Lemler Funeral Home in Bluffton. Friends can send online condolences to the Tinkel family at www.thomarich.com.

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