Christopher Martin Thompson
February 20, 1951 to October 27, 2009
Christopher was born February 20, 1951 in Altadena to Cochran and Mary Thompson. The 2nd of 9 children, Chris spent his elementary school days at St. Elizabeth in Altadena. He attended La Salle High School in Pasadena where he ran track, graced the dance floor with his sister Mary, and showed strong signs of musical piano and artistic talent. To his parents chagrin, Chris also showed his adventurous side, purchasing his first motorcycle which he drove up and down the coast of California. Chris’ siblings Tony, Mary, Matthew, Nick, Peter, Cecilia, Barbara and Nathaniel remember Chris enjoying family trips to Pennsylvania, Sun Valley, Idaho and many trips to Catalina where his dad Cochran spent much of his own childhood. Chris would later return to Catalina for more adventure and precious memories with his wife Nancy. While still living at home, the last big family trip Chris enjoyed with his siblings, was a two month trek across the country.
Chris attended college at Stanislaus State University in Turlock, California. His first exposure to the floral industry came in a student job, delivering flowers. Christopher went on to learn and develop the artistic skill of floral design. He created and ran three of his own unique floral shops, founding ‘Wildflower’, established in both San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. Chris’ artistic expertise was further developed in his 15+ year tenure at the esteemed floral shop, Mark’s Garden in Sherman Oaks. There he worked as Mark’s Garden’s Head Designer. Chris designed for the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball. Several times he won honors for his design for the Las Floristas Headdress Ball in Los Angeles. Chris Thompson was the Head Floral Designer for many Hollywood events, including Oprah’s personal events and was personally requested to design for many Hollywood stars’ weddings and movie sets.
Chris taught, led and inspired teams of florists over the years to bring joy, beauty, creativity and lasting memories to celebrities, corporations, families, friends and brides. His son Jeremy Thompson has followed his dad’s footsteps and is also a floral designer. Son-in-law and professional surfer Colin McPhillips enjoyed learning from Chris, assisting him in several events and weddings.
Chris’ most valued business partner and treasured friend was his beloved wife Nancy Thompson. Chris and Nancy worked together in his final years in their company Chris Thompson Designs to bring beauty and Chris’s unique, award winning creativity to weddings and special events. Many brides will not only remember the gorgeous beauty Chris brought to their wedding days, but also the gift of his personhood,his generous, patient, kind, hard working, humble nature. One would only learn of Chris’ many accalades from his proud wife and co-workers,never did he boast of his achievements,he was too humble and focused on meeting the needs of others.
Chris and his wife Nancy enjoyed a marriage rich in love, friendship, adventure and family. They enjoyed beach days Chis was an avid surfer, traveling to Catalina and Canada and creating a home and garden that would be the gathering place for many family occasions. Chris indulged Nancy in her childlike joy of Disneyland and holidays,theirs was the home most magically decorated and inviting to children of all ages at Christmas and other holidays.
Chris enjoyed good music, good wine, good waves, good friends, a good game of pool and always his family. He loved the Rolling Stones,though son-in-law Brandon Marshall, in playful rivalry did get him to a Pearl Jam concert. Along with his father-in-law Hal Whitby, Chris was a member of the Hawaiian Surf Club, who will play a special part in the music of his Celebration of Life, 3 pm on Thursday, November 5th at Rancho Capistrano Lakeside in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Chris will be most remembered by his wife Nancy, his siblings, his sons Jeremy and Sgt. Jason Thompson of the United States Army, step-daughters Amy McPhillips and Heidi Marshall and his 6 grandchildren for his goodness, his kindness, his generosity, his work ethic, his humble service to others’ needs, his sparkling eyes and easy smile. A consummate gentleman, Chris first met Nancy at a mutual friend’s birthday party. He asked her to dance and when she remarked that she was not a good dancer, Chris replied, ‘I am and I will teach you. I am a very patient man.’ Chris taught so many through his patience, example, selflessness and service. Nancy and Chris danced that first night together until 2 am, and continued to dance through life together as best friends and soul mates.
Chris’s grandchildren will always remember the ‘PaPa’ that held them, played with them, watered the garden with them, attended their baptisms, birthday parties and soccer games. His stepdaughter Heidi has a beautiful last memory of Chris holding his newest grandbaby Gavin just the night before he passed. Grandson Kai McPhillips asked if God had a phone in heaven so he could talk to his Papa Chris. Kai, Dax, Ezra, Steele, Gavin and Cierra will miss growing up with their Papa Chris. Even the youngest members of his family will forever be enriched by the time they had with him.
Nancy describes her beloved husband Chris as a gentle wind with a strong force ,the wind beneath her wings. She hopes that when we all feel that gentle, strong wind we will remember Chris’ love and impact are still with us.
Please join the Thompson family to celebrate Chris’ life on Thursday, November 5th, 3:00 pm at Rancho Capistrano Lakeside: 29251 Camino Capistrano “¢ San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675. The service will be officiated by both Pastor Rich Anderson, who married Nancy and Chris and their daughters, and by Chris’ uncle Father Christian Mondor. The family requests casual, Hawaiian attire be worn to the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family deeply appreciates donations in support of his wife and family, made to the Chris Thompson Memorial Fund, PO Box 11547, Santa Ana, CA 92711-9951.
Thank you Chris for all you did, all you gave, all you were to the family and friends that love you so much. You will forever be loved and missed.