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Elden (Delila) Tompkins

Elden (Delila) Tompkins
Elden (Delila) Tompkins

Eminent Homemaker

County: Hyde

Delila Tompkins, Highmore, likes to do her part for Extension. That’s why she cannot overlook a lesson, her chance to learn something she hasn’t done, and why she was chosen as 1977 Eminent Homemaker by the South Dakota Board of Regents and South Dakota State University.

Active as a 4-H leader for over 10 years, Tompkins, 60, is a member of the Library Board, County Nurse Board, Town and Country Homemakers Club member for over 30 years and an Extension Board member.

Last winter she conducted two quilting workshops for over 40 young women interested in the craft and the workshops will be continued again this year.

Following two cataract operations, she has chosen to take a less active part in Extension programs. She used to take lessons in other counties to learn a new craft, and then come back to Hyde County to teach the homemakers. She did the same with 4-H.

The husband and wife Tompkins’ team organized the Bramhall Boosters 4-H Club when children in the community showed an interest, and Tompkins was their leader. She was the first leader in the county to accompany the purple ribbon winners to State Fair. The Tompkins were an International 4-H Youth Exchange host family one summer for an Australian girl.

Tompkins is a former county Extension Council president, and a 15-year member of the County Extension Board. When the new Extension office was built, she donated some office supplies and materials needed, and saw to it that there was a kitchen unit for programs and demonstrations.

She has served as a chapter mother for Future Homemakers of America. Tompkins has been a precinct committeewoman and served on the election board many times; in 1975 she joined, as a charter member, the Hyde County Republican Women’s organization.

The Tompkins have worked side by side in the operation of their 2,800 acre farm. She has kept all of the farm records, including the paperwork for their registered livestock—Hereford cows, Rambouillet and Hampshire sheep.

As a member of the County Library Board, Tompkins helped oversee the moving and remodeling of the new library. She has been a Public Health Board member, and helped with fund drives of the Cancer and Heart Funds, M.S., March of Dimes and others. She was a committee member chosen to plan and select equipment for the Hyde County Memorial Auditorium. Tompkins is active in her church’s circle and is a former secretary of education of the American Lutheran Church Women’s organization.

Tompkins was nominated by the Hyde County Jaycettes for South Dakota’s “Mother of the Year” in 1975. She’s won the Governor’s Special at State Fair.

Kathy Suhn, Hyde County’s Extension home economist says, “Delila probably has a sense of more personal satisfaction and self-pride by her services she so willingly donates to her community than any award could mean to her. To her, publicity and recognition for good works is of little importance.”