|8 Mar 2021|
Raymond Tomkin was a retired designer, he died at home in East Hampton, New York, on Saturday, February 20 at the age of 96.
Born on August 1, 1924 to Herbert Tomkin and the former Gladys May Purse in Tunbridge Wells,
Kent, Mr. Tomkin was raised and educated at Judd and served four years flying in the Royal Air Force during World War II.
Always eager to travel, he left his home early in 1951 and took up residence in Durban, South Africa for three years. Upon returning to the United Kingdom he became disenchanted with the post-war situation there and emigrated to the United States in October 1955.
With a design background from the Chelsea College of Art and the College of Distributed Trades in London, he ventured into the visual merchandising and store-design area of retail department stores in Manhattan. After 35 years of dedicated service and contribution to this industry, he became a Vice President in the corporate office of Gimbel Brothers of New York City.
He retired at age 61 in 1985 to reside permanently at his summer home in East Hampton, New York which he shared with his husband and long-time companion Stephen Heidrich of Darien Ct., who died on May 14, 2012. They lived together and travelled extensively for 52 years.
They designed their weekend house together while living and working still in Manhattan. In 1985, following the sale of their Brownstone at 208 E. 73rd St., they became permanent residents of East Hampton. After many years together, Ray and Stephen became domestic partners in 2003, and were married on August 1, 2011, when marriage became legal in New York.
Mr. Tomkin is survived by his twin sister, Enid Oates who resides in England, nieces Jackie Kamerling of France, Anthea Asprey of England, and a nephew, Robin Carr of Wales.
Ray expressed his wish that no funeral or memorial services be held.
His ashes will be buried alongside his husband Stephen. Memorial contributions are suggested to the East End Hospice organization who generously provided for both he and Stephen in their final days.
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