- About Us
Gary P. “Jake” Tomlinson, 72, left us suddenly, passing away at home from a heart attack on Friday, June 22, 2018. Born in Colchester, June 26, 1945, he was the son of George P. “Jake” and Alida E. (Machia) Tomlinson and brother to the infamous Harold “Sonny” Tomlinson.
Gary grew up in a white clapboard home on Jericho Road near Essex Center. Attending elementary school in the old white schoolhouse, now the Harriet Powell Museum, Gary boasted perfect attendance. He graduated from Essex High School where he was known for his superior basketball skills and, later in life, a respectable softball player. Though not a particularly tall person, he would eventually become one of the greatest men in town. Taking on his father’s nickname “Jake”, Jake co-owned Printer’s Pub (13 Main) and ran the Essex Town road crew at a young age, plowing in winters past neighbors and friends. Eventually, in 1973, he settled into a 45 year career as sole proprietor of Jake’s Painting & Maintenance. He would become Sexton for Mountain View Cemetery selling lots with a warm, compassionate nature. He opened graves in Essex, Colchester and Westford cemeteries by hand using only a trusty shovel and a good digging buddy. There is a long list of folks who are proud to say that they dug with Jake Tomlinson. After work, in the early years, he coached the Essex Center Little League. As an adult he could throw a mean shoe with his buddies and bowl an almost perfect game at Champlain Lanes. A lifelong hunter and fisherman, he enjoyed time up at his hunting camp in Starksboro with his posse, talking Yankees, NY Giants, NASCAR and good old boy stories around the woodstove. Anyone stopping by was offered a Bud and colorful conversation. Stories of going to the racetrack with Jake are legend. Daytona, Dover, New Hampshire, Devil’s Bowl, Thunder Road and many more. Jake has just crossed the finish line. He will always be a winner.
Not a tech savvy guy, he left the business end of things to his wife, Tobe, but the heavy lifting for himself and his hardy work crew, populated by friends new and old. You were family and he loved you dearly.
A dog in another life, Jake was known for his unconditional love of many a good dog. On the job painting, homeowners were reassured that their pets would get along with Jake.
There is not enough space to here to describe the life of Jake Tomlinson. His sudden absence from this community will require time to recover. He loved his friends and eventually everyone became his friend. He went that extra mile to make sure we were all okay. He was that guy. Sharing the stories of good times and not so good times will help. His Arctic blue eyes and massive hands, his low booming voice and droopy painted shorts can only be remembered. Those who know him have been blessed. He will be missed beyond words.
A service will be held on Monday, July 2, at 11:00 AM at the Corbin and Palmer Funeral Chapel, 9 Pleasant Street, Essex Junction.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Humane Society of Chittenden Country, 142 Kindness Court, South Burlington, VT 05403.