August 30, 1956 – September 3, 2020
Born in Des Moines, IA
Resided in Lincoln, NE

David Wayne Tonkinson

David Wayne Tonkinson, 64, of Lincoln, passed away September 3, 2020.

Dave was born August 30, 1956 in Des Moines, IA to Geraldine (Wilkins) Murray. He enjoyed his childhood in Des Moines and the Twin Cities with his mom, stepdad Bob, sister, and step brothers and sisters. The family moved to Lincoln where he graduated from Lincoln East High School and later met his wife Kristi. They were married November 14, 1981. Dave was a hard worker and knew how to fix just about anything. He worked for Cheever Apartments for 30 years and finished his career as the maintenance supervisor. Dave loved spending summer weekends fishing at their cabin at Harlan County Reservoir, attending the Iowa State Fair, and the vacation in Florida he and Kristi took every winter. He was a devoted father and husband, always available for advice, support, or to help fix something around the house. Dave’s grandchildren were the absolute joy of his life, and he was most proud to be Pop.

Dave is preceded in death by his parents.

Dave is survived by his wife Kristi, their 3 sons and their wives, Chad and Whitney, Chase and Chrissy, and David, his sister Sally, and grandchildren Devin and Marley.

A private family service will be held Tuesday, September 8.

Memorials, in lieu of flowers to the Autism Family Network of Lincoln care of Cathy Martinez.


(Written by Daughter-In-Law, Whitney, Chad’s wife):

When Chad and I started dating, he was living in Florida.

So I went to meet the parents ALL by myself.

I was a tad intimidated when I first met Dave, with his low voice, his serious demeanor and bold appearance. He was always so confident and brave. Right away I knew he was someone to look up to, trust and admire.

He was a TELL-IT-LIKE-IT-IS, no BS kind of guy. Which is rough and refreshing at the same time.

I remember the first time I made him laugh, I don’t remember what I said, but I remember how fun it was to hear his laugh and see him smile. It was one of my most self-gratifying moments.

As the years went on and I got to know him better, feeling intimidated was FAR from the truth! He was EASY to talk to, had an answer, explanation and comment for every topic.

He LOVED his family more than anything and enjoyed helping them out and spending time together. He had a great sense of humor and he ALWAYS made me feel welcomed!

Kris and Dave have ALWAYS been so gracious! Always inviting my mom, brother, and grandparents to join in on their family gatherings.

For example, my family was invited to join them at Olive Garden so they could meet Devin!

Dave and Kris would also hangout with my Grandparents, Lloyd and NolaJean, in their place at Eastmont. My Grandparents and I were extremely close. My Grandparents LOVED Kris and Dave! And I could tell the feeling was mutual. It filled my heart! I have ALWAYS felt blessed to call Kris and Dave my in-laws!

Then we had Marley! And she couldn’t have asked for a better Pop! As Devin knows, Pop is the BEST! Pop not only loved his wife and sons, but his Grandkids brought out the little kid in him again! He always had so much fun with Devin and Marley! Always smiling and laughing, it was a beautiful and genuine love to witness.

Marley and Devin loved their Pop just as much! Their unconditional love for each other will be with them through eternity!

Kris and Dave had their own unique and unbreakable bond. Coming close to 39 years of blissful marriage, there was no denying their love for each other!

Kris professed her love for Dave to us the other night, she said, “Dave was and is my one and only Love! I will NEVER love anyone like I Love Dave! He was a compassionate and loving husband. He is my TRUE LOVE!”

I want to thank Kris and Dave for being such a fun and adventurous couple! We have so many great memories! We had so many amazing trips together!

-Fishing at Harlan

-Fishing at Minnesota

-Fishing in Ohio and taking Pop to the Christmas Story House

-Walking the cold beaches of Oregon to walking the warm beach and boardwalk in New Jersey

-And attending the Iowa State Fair

And even though we lived apart we had so many fantastic video chats together! Thank God for Snapchat! Marley loved to show off her moves and songs, “She always wants to sing, she’s the loudest person I know,” said Pop when we talked to him on September 1st. That is definitely a true statement!

We have phenomenal memories!

Thank you Dave for being the BEST Pop, Husband, Dad and Father-In-Law!

Thanks for sharing your wisdom, your skills, your humor, your sense of adventure!

Last night Marley said her prayers before bed. The end of the prayer we say goes, “God Bless Marley, make her a good girl,” etc…and at the end you ask Marley if there’s anyone she wants to add, she said,

“Pop, make him a good boy. I LOVE him soooo much!”

Dave, you’ll be with us in our hearts, our minds, in our conversations and prayers.

Your unconditional LOVE will be remembered and felt in ALL of US ALWAYS!

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