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Thomas R. Docking

Kansas Lieutenant Governor Thomas R. Docking, with his son Brian and wife Jill Sadowsky Docking, between 1982 and 198341st Lieutenant Governor. Politician. Attorney. Born August 10, 1954. Married: Jill Sadowsky. Died: August 24, 2017.

Thomas R. Docking was born to Robert Blackwell and Meredith Marina Gear Docking on August 10, 1954. He attended grade school in Arkansas City, and junior high school in Topeka. A fourth generation Kansan, his father was governor from 1967 to 1975, and his grandfather, George Docking, held the office from 1957 to 1961.

He attended the University of Kansas where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi, and there he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science in 1976. He spent a semester at Brown University in Providence, Rhode, Island. He was the recipient of the Carl T. Smith scholarship in the KU school of law, the Emil Dade Scholarship, and the Solon Summerfield scholarship in the KU school of business. He was elected to the honor society of Pi Sigma Alpha and the honorary scholastic society of Beta Gamma Sigma. He received a master’s in business administration and a juris doctorate from KU in 1980. He was admitted to the Kansas Bar in 1980.

He married Jill Sadowsky. They had two children. Docking was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1986 but lost to Republican Mike Hayden. His wife, Jill, ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1996 and lieutenant governor in 2014.

He served as the 41st lieutenant governor of Kansas, from January 10, 1983, to January 12, 1987, during Governor John Carlin’s second term.

He practiced in the areas of taxation, business and estate planning, and banking and commercial law with the Law Offices of Morris Laing Evans Brock & Kennedy Chartered. He served on numerous professional state boards and agencies including the Kansas Tax Review Commission, Govermor’s High Technology Task Force, and the Kansas Securities Review Commission. His civic and community involvement included state and local charities, community service organizations, and banks. He was a frequent lecturer on estate planning.

Docking died August 24, 2017, at the age of 63.

Entry: Docking, Thomas R.

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: August 2017

Date Modified: August 2017

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.