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Tampa, FL 33629
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“Please accept my sincere condolences. May the God of all comfort be with the family during this difficult time. ”
1 of 1 | Posted by: Sharon - neighbor

Tommy Lee Adkins was born in 1932 during the depths of the depression. He was born in the small rural town of Homosassa FL to Willie D. Adkins and Willie Rae Adkins who, as a young couple, had the unique distinction of having the same first names. Six years later the family would move to Tampa where Tommy's father would find employment at the newly built MacDill Field as a refrigeration and heating engineer. Tommy was enrolled at the ballast point elementary school. Prior to this he had attended a one room school house where the students attended class barefoot because most of the students could not afford shoes. Now, in a more modern and metropolitan setting, Tommy sometimes found it difficult to fit in. Such as when he discovered that recess was now segregated and he was no longer allowed to play with the girls in his class. Being admonished by his teacher that if he did not stay away from the girls during recess she would bring a dress to school and force him to wear it. In addition to this he was required to fight each of the neighborhood boys in order to be accepted by them and to prove his worthiness. Soon however Tommy and his younger brother Jimmy would prove to their peers that these two wiry young boys from the sticks could hold their own.
As a youth Tommy enjoyed the outdoors more than anything. Especially the water. An avid swimmer and diver Tommy often made good use of Tampa Bay that he now lived near and the rivers and inter-coastal water ways of his frequently visited home town of Homosassa. In addition he was becoming a highly skilled fisherman, a tradition long held in his family. Tommy's interest in the water and all things of a nautical nature naturally led him to an interest in the Navy. As a young man he joined the Sea Scouts and often spent his time at the base located at the Ballast Point pier near his home.
School was never a big interest to Tommy he preferred the freedom of the outdoors to the shut in nature of the classroom. Eventually dropping out of high school to join the Navy in his senior year. An adventurous and restless spirit Tommy was seldom happy staying for too long in one place or profession. After two years in the Navy he returned home and soon married Fay Stephens of Ozello Florida. They soon bought a house in North Tampa and began raising a family of their own. They had four children William, Deborah, Timothy and Christina. However, the marriage was not to last and after twelve years they divorced. In the years that followed Tommy would struggle with family and career. Often changing jobs as often as he changed girlfriends. But eventually he would settle down again and marry Kathy Howard who had a son named Jeff from a previous marriage. They bought a house together and Tommy's recent job with the Tampa int. Airport was settling down into a career he would eventually retire from.
In his later years Tommy retired to a small waterfront trailer park working part time and pursuing his interests in the outdoors and his first love, the water.
Despite his life difficulties Tommy always managed to find time to help others. He enjoyed people and social settings. He was often the member of social clubs and other activity based organizations. He enjoyed participating in the Renaissance Festival and the Pioneers Rendezvous and even acted in a play once. He was always liked by those that met him, finding him to be a warm and friendly person he was always eager to lend a hand and to share his knowledge and skills with a younger generation.