Photos by the Club and courtesy the Thompson family


im Thompson, who managed and coordinated a host of duties in the Club’s back office, died Aug. 11. He was 72.

Jim Thompson during his service to the US Navy.

Most Club Members might not have known Jim, but he was integral to their Club experience and the high level of service they have come to enjoy from the Club. Jim made the Club engine hum.

In short order, here’s a list of just some of Jim’s duties:

  • Purchased all computers, monitors, odds and ends supplies, and snacks for the office
  • Purchased and maintained all Association vehicles
  • Retrieved and disseminated all mail, as well as assembling and preparing all mass mailings for postal delivery
  • Was the primary contact with building maintenance for all physical property needs
  • Lee Thompson, Club Controller, and her late husband, Jim, Club Back Office Coordinator, with grandchildren.

    Maintained supply room and did all heavy lifting when moving supplies

  • Purchased, assembled, moved and retired all office furniture
  • Delivered many items to outside vendors or other Association locations from main office


Jim, who was half Apache, was raised in New Mexico on a Native American reservation until he was 9, and then was raised in Venice and Hollywood. He attended Hollywood High School.

For most of his career, he was a mechanic and service writer for auto repairs. An auto enthusiast, he owned at least six customized vehicles at the time of his passing.

Leigh and Jim Thompson at their wedding.

He was married to Leigh Thompson, the Club’s Controller, for nearly 44 years. Jim and Leigh had three children and several grandchildren, including Megan Eckert, the Club’s Ticket and Benefits Procurement Associate, and granddaughter-in-law Rebecca DeBolt, the Club’s Data Processing Coordinator.

The Club bids goodbye to Jim and thanks him for his sometimes hidden but always unceasing service to Club Members. Our sympathies go to Leigh, Megan, Rebecca and Jim’s family, co-workers and friends. n




I told my husband years ago that if anything happened to him, I would not replace him. After having the perfect husband, I can’t imagine settling for less. I just want everyone to know how very much I appreciated everything he did for me. I love him, and miss him so much.

— Leigh Thompson,
Controller, the Club
Widow of Jim Thompson


You were never just a friend of Jim; you were a project of his. Whenever you talked with him, half his brain was listening to see what your desires and wants were; in the back of his mind he was trying to figure out what he could secretly surprise you with. That’s just the kind of guy Jim was. A heart of gold. A man on a mission to please those around him, whether it was his family, a coworker or friend. When you least expected it there would be a case of your favorite granola bars on your desk, or maybe a die-cast model car that you happened to mention you like, or maybe just a magazine on a topic you were interested in. Jim loved surprising people; the bigger the surprise, the happier he was.

I first met Jim more than 20 years ago. He was a rough, no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is, open-book, no-holds-barred kind of guy. As the years went on he became much softer, and somewhat of a father figure to many of the Club staff. Not the demanding type of father who scolded and disciplined; he was more of the “let me hold that firework while you light it” kind of father. He encouraged staff to think differently. He loved to educate and would often seek out and give information to staff if they were interested in a particular topic. He was always thinking of how he could impact the lives of those around him. Always. And when he wasn’t thinking of what he could do for someone he was reading a book. He read lots of books, I think maybe a book a week. And when he wasn’t reading, he was working with metal, or more specifically on his cars. Jim loved metal … anything metal. He loved welding, modifying his cars by hand and from scratch. He welded, he riveted, he hand-fashioned fenders, he could literally do anything with metal.

Jim was also a walking Master Class on storytelling, and his stories always related to something you may have been talking about. Stories of him growing up, his time in the Navy, or meeting his wife Leigh, or, my favorite, his tales of sailing around the tip of South America; there were stories for every situation and occasion. Speaking of Leigh, I’m not sure if I have ever seen someone love someone so truly, so purely as Jim loved Leigh. He would do anything for Leigh, and I mean anything. He adored her, placed her on a pedestal, protected her, and did everything in his power to make her life as carefree and enjoyable as possible.

I am missing Jim so much; I miss his candor, his one-liners, his curiosity, and I especially miss hearing him colorfully coax the letter-sorting machine for hours on end when it wasn’t cooperating.

Rest in peace, Jim.

— John Hawkins,
President and CEO
Los Angeles City Employees Association, Inc.


Jim Thompson was a man of many talents and an even bigger heart. He may not have been the most well-known member of the Club, but his impact on the lives of those he met was profound. His life experiences instilled in him a love and respect for all people and cultures. He was always quick to offer words of wisdom or encouragement, whether you were having a bad day or struggling with a problem.

A true auto enthusiast, Jim loved nothing more than working on cars. He loved customizing his own cars and spending time tinkering in the garage. He would often talk with me about adding horsepower, changing tires or sharing his excitement for receiving a car part delivered by UPS like any child does when they get something with anticipation.

His skills transcended into a love affair with metalworking – welding was no exception! His ability to know something about just about everything made him a valuable member of the Club back office. He was like a utility player, to use a sports analogy. And his wisdom was evident in the quotes he would often share with those around him. “Likely story…,” he would say, or “Your chef knives are like my mechanic tools.” When you read the other tribute messages, it is easy to see that Jim had an abundance of wise one-liners. His sage advice will be missed by all who knew him and enjoyed his company in life’s little moments.

He will be deeply missed by all who knew him – I already do. He was a kind-hearted man with a passion for life, his wife Leigh, and his entire family. Jim touched the lives of everyone he met, and his memory will live on with me, all who knew him, and here in this tribute in Alive! for many years to come. Rest in peace, Jim. Your legacy will live on forever through the stories you’ve told us and how they made people feel about themselves over time.

— Robert Larios,
President and CEO
Employees Club of California


Jim was a reliable and trustworthy team player. He would be the first to offer help, especially for tasks that sounded unappealing to most. It was a pleasure to work alongside him, and he was unquestionably an important cog in the Club engine.

I felt Jim to be one of kindest people on earth. I could tell that he really loved his family … and of course his cars, books, Dr. Pepper, morning doughnut, mayonnaise, and instrumental music. One of the last conversations we had was about how he never partook in company lunches. It weighs heavy on me to know I didn’t get to fulfill my promise of getting a Jim-friendly lunch catered, but let’s face it, it was a big ask. The food was either too heavy or what Jim liked to call, “rabbit food.”

I will forever miss our friendly banter and thought-provoking conversations. One of my favorite Jim quotes is, “You pay for the sins of your youth.” It could be interpreted in many ways, but in this instance, I’m choosing to interpret it as, go do that something that you keep putting off before that something becomes impossible to do.

Thank you to the Club for being the road where Jim and I crossed paths. Thank you, Jim, for the good times and positive impact you had on my life.

My heart goes out to the Thompson family.

— Petros Khachatrian,
Director of IT
The Club


Jim was great at anticipating and fulfilling staff needs with a sense of urgency and care. He always had the appropriate tool readily available to make any job that much easier. I was searching for a spare ink toner for our postage machine when I came across a box perched high up on a bookshelf near… his desk. Inside lay a new wheel for a dolly that was parked in our fulfillment center. I opted to change the bad wheel and it wasn’t a difficult task because Jim had a can of WD-40, an adjustable wrench and a pair of tongue and groove pliers. We now have a dolly functioning once again. Want to know how far in advance Jim obtained the spare wheel? The box’s shipping label stated June 2016 – he was that good at anticipating needs.

Jim loved his wife, his family, reading a good… science fiction book, cars, fixing and building anything. “Are we having fun yet?”; “Easy for you to say”; “So much fun”; “Likely story”; “Be nice”; “Should be interesting”; “Life in the big city”; are few of the many hilarious and quirky puns that helped us get through the day. Jim, and his memorable phrases, are missed. Thank you, Jim.

— Ronald Cortez,
Assistant Quality Assurance Analyst
The Club



always called Jim “My Best Bud” for Buddy!

Every morning I went into the office I always stopped and talked to Jim. We would talk about cars. He gave me the best advice as to repairs and parts, and kept me updated on the new line of cars. He was an expert with antique cars and customizing.

I will truly miss Jim’s smiles and laughter. He was one of a kind.

Rest in Peace, Jim. You will never be forgotten.

— Cheryl Martin,
The Club


May you rest in peace, Jim! Jim was willing to assist everyone in need. His presence will be missed by the staffs he interacted with.

— Trinh Pham,
Sr. Accountant
The Club


Although I did not spend much time working alongside Jim at the Club, the times I did spend were very positive and stood out.

He had a way of making even the most mundane moments funny with his hilarious comments and wit. I could tell he loved his wife so very much, and watching them eat together during lunchtime was just wholesome. I could tell he worked very hard and took pride in what he did. He was also very helpful: My memories of him are mostly him helping colleagues or asking them about their day!

My condolences to his family and friends. The Club misses Jim.

— Cesilee Castillo,
Customer Service Rep
The Club


I am still in disbelief, and I cannot imagine how the Thompson family must feel.

It’s truly a challenge to pin down who Jim was in a few words. The first thing that comes to mind is hearing him say, “Coming dear!” to quite literally anyone who rang the doorbell at HQ. I’ve never encountered someone willing to help with anything, whether it be at work or not, quite as much as Jim was. Jim was someone with a vast amount of knowledge and was eager to give it out to anybody he met. On top of that, there was no task Jim couldn’t figure out, given his natural skill, expansive knowledge and adventurer’s spirit. Jim was the kind of person who truly enjoyed the game of life, that grabbed it by the horns and took it for all its worth.

Jim was someone you could ask near anything and get a good conversation; he truly saw the importance of creating connections with other people. Jim was someone I am extremely grateful I got the chance to cross paths with, and I strive to live a life to the level of fulfillment that he did. I will end this on a phrase I still use regularly that I admittedly plagiarized from Jim that I try to live by: “Ain’t it fun?”

— Noah Hawkins,
Customer Service Rep
The Club


I was lucky enough to have worked with Jim and always looked forward to our snack runs. Jim one day took me to the best places in the city to make sure that staff had great snack options. Though I may have closed my eyes on some of the drive as Jim quickly yet carefully maneuvered the streets of downtown LA, he would share with me fun ways he thought of modifying my car or what car to get next. Jim impacted each one of us. He was generous, thoughtful with a witty sense of humor.

He will be missed dearly, and my thoughts and prayers are with the Thompson family during this difficult time.

— Arlene Herrero,
Vice President of Business Development
The Club


I will miss Jim’s greetings. He truly was the sweetest; every time I walked into the office and saw all the Wonder Woman things he so generously got me, will put a smile on my face! He did so much and his absence will never really be filled.

I can still hear him walking down the hall: ”Ain’t it grand.”

— Mariana Guevara,
Ticket and Benefit Procurement
The Club


Jim was a wonderful, kind-hearted man.

He was always available to help others in any capacity. He always made sure the candies and snacks everyone liked were stocked at Club headquarters. Jim was a loved man, co- worker, and friend. He will be missed.

— Noelle Kauffman,
Director of Sales
The Club


It was clear that Jim was a caring family man, through and through. Jim was a part of the Club family and will be missed.

— Tiffany Sy,
The Club


Jim was a larger-than-life character who could make anyone laugh. He could walk into a completely silent room and have everyone cracking up from his witty remarks about—well, anything. He was the type of person to always make sure everyone around him felt comfortable, taken care of, and content all the way around. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten by those who knew and loved him.

— Dylan Noel,
CRM Business Analyst
The Club


Jim was warm and kind. He always greeted me with enthusiasm and a funny remark and asked about my day, my dog, my travels, and my car. I could always count on Jim to offer help in whatever way he could. I looked forward to seeing him in the office. It pains me to know I can no longer have our fun conversations and hugs in the office. He will be missed!

— Dalila Vielma,
The Club


Jim was a kind man with a big heart. He could strike up a conversation with anyone and deliver a great joke. I will miss his stories and his witty life tips. He truly took the time to get to know each of us and learn what we liked.

He adored his wife and family and never passed up an opportunity to show them off. He was the type of man who could make a friend anywhere and anytime, could crack you up with his one-liners, and always found a way to be helpful. We were all very lucky to have made a friend like Jim.

— Mikayla Dooley-Sprague,
Claims Coordinator
The Club


Jim was a kind and caring person who always was willing to help in any way he could.

One of the many traits I really appreciated was his honesty!

He was a very important part of the Club, and he will be truly missed. Rest in Peace, Jim!

— Monica Zamudio,
Claims Administrator
The Club