Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

ANNOUNCEMENTS > Obituaries > Obituary of Ray Tomkin (1924-2021)

Obituary of Ray Tomkin (1924-2021)

Ray was at Judd from 1935 - 1941. He flew with the RAF during WWII and rose in his career to become Vice President of the huge Gimbel Brothers Department Store in New York City in the mid 80's.

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.

If you have memories of an OJ or a former member of staff whom you would like to be remembered in this way (even retrospectively), just send the text and some good quality photos through to:  We want this page to be a tribute to all our former community members. 


Similar stories

Michael attended Judd between 1944-1952. Ian Hollands pays tribute to him: More...

We are also lucky to have as one of our eminent alumni, the British physicist, who was awarded the 1951 Nobel Prize for … More...

Did you know Admiral of the Fleet Lord Lewin KG, GCB, LVO, DSC , (also known as Baron Lewin or Lord Lewin of Greenwich) … More...

Richard Revell attended Judd between 1952 and 1955.  More...

Over the lockdown summer, we were saddened to hear of the death of Diane Avery, who taught French at Judd for 15 years. … More...

Most read

Wing Cdr Philip Lamb & Wing Cdr Guy Bazalgette with HRH the Countess of Wessex

Wing Commander Philip Robert James Lamb died peacefully on 14th November 2018, aged 47 years, at home. More...

Michael attended Judd between 1944-1952. Ian Hollands pays tribute to him: More...

Byron was at Judd from 1953-1960. Christopher Terry pays tribute to a very popular OJ who was larger than life and whom so many remember so fondly: More...

This website is powered by