Tommy Thompson was born to Dorothy (née Frazier) and Frank Thompson in Upland, California. As the baby boy in a family with two older sisters, Tommy was no stranger to having the ladies dote on him. He spent the majority of his childhood in Escondido, California, attending both Orange Glen and Escondido High Schools before graduating in 1970.

Working in construction and owning a trucking company were a great foundation career-wise. But Tommy really hit his stride as a commodities merchandiser, first with Wilbur-Ellis before founding Thompson Trading Co. He served terms as both President of the LA Grain Exchange and Director of the California Grain & Feed Association. The ag industry was a perfect fit for Tommy since it incorporated his strong work ethic, his savvy financial sense, and his charismatic ability to bring people together in both social situations and business deals. When other passengers in his car might comment on the aroma of a nearby dairy farm, Tommy would roll down the windows, inhale deeply, and say, “Smells like money!”

Tommy lived in Southern California and the Central Valley until finally settling in Paso Robles, which he referred to as “the town of his life.” 

He loved golden retrievers, Ray-Ban Wayfarers, beautiful women, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Ketel One, Lonesome Dove, playing 1-4-24 (no bottoms!), the Dodgers, golf tournaments, and a never-ending list of friends that continued to grow year after year. But more than anything else, Tommy adored his family. 

Tommy was predeceased by his parents and his beloved dogs, Brandy and Gus. He is survived by his sister Francie Freetly (Jeff) Huttner; nephews Jeff (Christy) Freetly and Greg (Stephanie) Freetly; his grand-niece Harper Freetly and grand-nephews Robby, Max, and Austin Freetly; his four-legged buddy Call (who is now enjoying the beach life in Florida); and his extended family, which included lifelong friends whose children grew up calling him “Uncle Tommy.”

Tommy’s family will forever be grateful to friends Tyson Hayward, Doug & Sabrina Kruse, and Lorraine Farkas, who were the core foundation of “Team Tommy” when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

In lieu of flowers, Tommy requested donations to Must! Charities. A celebration of life will be held in June at Jack Creek Cellars. Wayfarers are optional.