Janet Jo McMeans Tompkins

Janet Jo McMeans Tompkins was born on July 27, 1922 in Chicago, IL. She spent her youth in Milwaukee, WI, Spiceland, IN, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from Coe College in 1942. In the fall of 1943, Janet met with the Navy recruiters and scored high enough to approve her for officer’s candidate school. Just four months past her 21 st birthday with a Bachelor’s degree in French and 8 months as a draftsman, Janet reported to Smith College in Northampton, Mass. On December 17, 1943. On April 4, 1944, she received her orders to report to the Office of Naval Communications Annex in Washington, D.C. She spent her entire service coding and de-coding top secret, secret, and routine messages. Janet earned several commendations and was promoted to Lt. (jg) on July 1, 1945. She was released to inactive duty in May of 1946 and was given her honorable discharge in June of 1946. She remained in the U.S. Naval Reserves until March 21, 1951.

“World War II was fought by ordinary people often doing extraordinary things during extraordinary times. Everyone was involved in the war. Everyone sacrificed. I believe we earned the tribute of America’s Greatest Generation. I am a proud American citizen, and I proudly support the U.S., display my flag, and constantly remind the younger generations that Freedom is not Free. I vote, and I remain engaged in politics. I am often outspoken, much to the embarrassment of my grandchildren. My husband, Mac, is buried at the National Cemetery in Dallas, TX. My second husband, Lt. Commander Leslie Tompkins is buried there also. I will be buried between them. My final resting place will be between two great men who did their part to win the war and came back to lead full and interesting lives. I am 100 years old, and I am blessed to have my children and their families close to me.”

Janet was the proud mother of Sharon Robinson, Diane Kreger (deceased) and Wayne McMeans. She found great joy in her family.