John Tomlin

John Milton Tomlin

Monday, April 15th, 1946 - Thursday, March 12th, 2020
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John Milton Tomlin, age 73 years, of Jefferson City, Mo., passed away Thursday, March 12, 2020 at his home with his wife and former pastor and friend, Kyle Hern, by his side.

John was born on April 15, 1946 in Marshall, Mo., the son of Malcom Royce and Mildred Ann (Zimmerman) Tomlin. He was married in 2003 at the First United Methodist Church of Jefferson City, Mo. to Joey Heisel, surviving.

A Jefferson City resident for the past 28 years, John relocated from Chicago, Il. to be closer to his family. John graduated from Jefferson City High School in 1964, and went on to earn both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg. He graduated from John Marshall Law school in 1976 with his Juris Doctor. In addition to all his academic success, John was proud to serve in the United States Army during the Vietnam war.

John practiced law in Chicago before moving to Jefferson City. He spent 25 years serving as a Missouri State Public Defender, and was proud to be a true trial lawyer; spending many an hour in the court room for an actual trial. He retired in 2017.

He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Jefferson City, Mo. He was a member of both the Missouri and Illinois Bar.

Reading was a true passion for John. He could often be found with a history book, specifically WWII history, but also enjoyed health and fitness articles and the peanuts comics for a good laugh. When he was not reading, he was planning his next trip to the movie theater. John loved all movies; if you could name it, he had probably seen it. John loved trips with Joey. They recently took a trip to Spain with his friend Bob and wife Evelyn, and often recalled on great memories made on a trip to the Dominican Republic for the wedding of dear friends T.J. and Erin.

Survivors include: his wife, Joey Tomlin of Jefferson City, Mo.; one step-daughter, Abigail Anton and her husband Clark; father and mother-in-law, Leslie and Thelma Heisel; one brother, Mike Tomlin and his wife Terri of Jackson, Mo.; one step-granddaughter, Maeve Anton; nieces and nephews, Suzanne Beall and her husband Mark, Michelle Ross and her husband Steven, Josh Tomlin and his wife Susan; great nieces and nephews, Regan, Camryn, Kendall, Alec, and Anna; and many family and friends.

John was preceded in death by his father and mother, his brother David Tomlin, and his step-son Gabriel Tucker.

Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

A funeral service will be conducted at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at Freeman Mortuary with the Reverend Trevor Dancer officiating. Interment will be conducted at Hawthorn Memorial Gardens.

For those who may not be able to attend Mr. Tomlin's service, we will be webcasting his memorial service starting at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday at the following web address or friends can view by clicking the "Photos & Videos" tab on this memorial page and scrolling down to the webcasting link.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the First United Methodist Church of Jefferson City, Mo.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:30am
    Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 10:00am - 11:30am
    Freeman Mortuary
    915 Madison Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 | 11:30am
    Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 11:30am
    Freeman Chapel
    915 Madison Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Hawthorn Memorial Gardens
    4205 Horner Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of John here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

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Private Condolence
Margaret Heisel sent flowers to the family of John Milton Tomlin.
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Linda Kennison

Posted at 11:42pm
John was always a special guy. He was smart, handsome and kind. I remember him as caring, friendly and upbeat. The world is a better place for John’s presence.

William S. Kruse

Posted at 11:03am
I knew John beginning at West School as we went to grade school together. My most memorable times with John was once I went to his home - I believe we were in the 5th grade - and he had a globe that when you turned out the lights and turned on the globe you saw the stars as they were in the sky. Early on he was interested in astrology and he pointed out to me several of the constellations from the shining globe. And I have always remembered John the day the President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. We were all stunned to say the least and we had tests to take that day. John was so upset that he wrote about his feelings about the assassination rather than answer the test questions. Our teacher, Mr. Watt, talked about what he did. May you rest in peace, John, and may all those who loved you be comforted. William S. Kruse class of '64 JCHS

Don Catlett

Posted at 06:04pm
So sorry to hear this. John was a true trial warrior. I recall many a spirited conversation about the nuances of criminal law with him. My thoughts and sympathy to his family.

Ann DeRosier

Posted at 09:17am
Joey, I’m so sorry to read of John’s passing. Please know you have my heartfelt sympathy.
Affectionately, Ann DeRosier

Mary Alice Carpenter

Posted at 07:18am
So sorry Joy ! Mary Alice Carpenter

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