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Kath​erine B. Tomkin, Pioneer in the Accounting Field

February 21, 2008
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Katherine "Kay" Bigelman Tomkin, a certified public accountant and pioneer in her time, died Dec. 13.

Tomkin was the first woman in her accounting class at the Wharton Evening School of the University of Pennsylvania, which she attended while working full-time during the day.

After graduation, she applied to the largest Jewish accounting firm in Philadelphia by writing a 20-page letter. She was interviewed by the three top officers of the firm and promptly hired the next day, becoming the only woman accountant in the firm.

Tomkin's résumé went on to include chief accountant for Bargain City stores, controller's office at the PSFS Bank, controller's office at the Philadelphia Industrial and Development Corporation, controller's office in the U.S. Navy with a supervisory responsibility for the entire Philadelphia Navy Yard and, later, a faculty member of the Philadelphia Textile Institute (now the Philadelphia University).

She was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a life member of the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs.

A member of Temple Sinai in Dresher for 41 years, and a former member of Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, Tomkin also served as campaign manager for her husband, Bernard Tomkin, when he was twice nominated as the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Congress in the 13th district.

In addition to her husband of 41 years, Tomkin is survived by a sister, brother, nine nieces, and 13 grandnieces and nephews.

 

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