Jane and David Tomlinson both grew up in the Arlington-Poynette area, and went to the same Poynette schools. In high school, they started going together. Jane graduated in 1969 and David in 1968. They got married and had a daughter and a son. David spent two years in Viet Nam, returned, and worked for the post office 32 years. In addition, he volunteered with the Poynette fire department and was later a fire inspector, obtaining licenses and training through Madison College. Several others in their family were also firefighters, fire chiefs, or EMT volunteers in their small town.
While conducting a fire inspection, David caught covid and later died. Because he was so well known in the area, neighbors, friends, and even other area fire departments generously made donations in his memory. Through David’s work as a trained volunteer firefighter, and because both their son and daughter had earned Madison College degrees, Jane and her family were very familiar with the college’s firefighting programs and firefighter licensing trainings.
They decided Madison College was the perfect place to send the memorial donations. Soon, the family got together and decided to create an ongoing endowment for future firefighters in the Madison College program. It’s easy to see how generations of involvement in their community public safety programs led this family to choose Madison College as the place to honor their father’s memory. In this way their endowment will support others who feel inspired to follow the path of public service David Tomlinson did.