Tumlinson, Howard Peter “Pete”

June 7, 1920-June 5, 2008

Howard Peter “Pete” Tumlinson, 87, of Cameron, died June 5, 2008, in a local hospital. Funeral services will be held June 9 at 4 p.m. at Marek-Burns-Laywell Funeral Home in Cameron. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Tumlinson was born June 7, 1920, in Glasgow, Mont. to O. G. and Maude Weaver Tumlinson. He was known as Pete to family and friends. He was in the Class of 1942 at Texas A&M University. He served his country during World War II as a pilot for SHAEF, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces. His career as a commercial artist carried him to places all over the country, including New York City, Chicago, Albuquerque, Ft. Worth, and Austin. He also worked for the Texas Department of Health as an artist/photo journalist. He is perhaps best known for his creation of Ol’ Sarge*, which became recognized as a symbol of Texas A&M. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Cameron. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Robert. Survivors include two brothers, Jack and wife, Tense, of Cameron, and Dick and wife, Judy, of Wichita, Kan.; sister-in-law, Jean, of Cameron, and numerous nieces and nephews.


* In 1938 Tumlinson identified the Ol’ Sarge, an long-time but unofficial mascot of Texas A&M, in a comic as an ex-con from Brooklyn who was considered “too tough” for Arcatraz, and sentenced to A&M. [Source: The Batallion]

What this obituary doesn’t say is that Pete was a comic book artist whose work, according to Wikipedia, appeared in the 1940s and 1950s in Timely Comics and Atlas Comics, predecessors of Marvel Comics. He did most of the early stories of the western hero Kid Colt. “His earliest confirmed comic-book work is penciling “I Hate My Husband!”, an eight-page story (either co-penciled with or inked by George Klein) in the Timely Comics romance title ‘My Own Romance’ #7 (July 1949).”  Tumlinson was a regular on the company’s crime, romance and war titles.