Phillip Roy Thompson

September 16, 1959January 27, 2013

Phillip Roy Thompson was born on September 16, 1959 in Pomona, California, and passed away in Los Altos, California on January 27, 2013. During his childhood years, he lived in Beaverton, Oregon; Norristown, Pennsylvania; and Tigard, Oregon. He graduated from Tigard High School in 1977. He was a trombone player, by turns serious, very funny, bright and creative. In 1981, Phil graduated from Southern Oregon State College, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science in math, emphasis in computer science, and a minor in music.

After college, Phil worked as a software engineer at Central Point Software in the Medford, Oregon area. In 1989, he went to work at Apple Computer in Cupertino, California, where he worked for 23 years as a software engineer specializing in automated testing software.

Phil is survived by his father, Paul Thompson, brother Michael Thompson (Dorothy), sister Kathy Buckley (John), nieces and nephews Christopher Buckley (Abigail Eiben), Bryce Thompson, Whitney Thompson-Harner (Shane Harner), and Susan Buckley (Jerry Turner). His mother, Helen Tims Thompson, preceded him in death.

Given his quick wit, if asked about donations in his memory, Phil might have said, “Give to the Stephen Colbert for President 2016 Super PAC!” He would then probably encourage donations to the mental health support organization of your choice (the Momentum program in Palo Alto, California is a great option).

An informal memorial gathering for friends and family will be held at McMenamins on Broadway at 1504 NE Broadway in Portland, Oregon on Sunday, February 17, 2013 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Messages and remembrances can be posted at:

The family would like to thank all of Phil’s friends and colleagues who loved, supported and rooted for him. He appreciated each of you very much.

“Can you think of any wisdom greater than kindness?” – quote from Phil.


Phillip Roy Thompson

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Melinda Tims

March 23, 2013

I am so sorry for this terrible loss - I know how much it has, and will continue to impact all of those in his family. You're all in my thoughts. Melinda Tims

Connie (hairstoyou) Bedard

March 7, 2013

I've been cutting Phil's hair for over 15 years. I always looked forward to seeing him. It didn't matter if he was up or down, he was a gracious and caring human being. He would talk with me about a variety of things and I knew he had to be brilliant technologically.
I was stunned to hear he had passed. I will miss his warmth, sense of humor and his authenticity. God Bless you Phil and your family who are missing you..

Barbara Crowder

February 17, 2013

My memories of Phil


Mitch Forncrook

February 13, 2013

I've known Phil for nearly 20 years while working at Apple, so the news of his passing has been quite a shock. The quote from the obituary is so very apt. He was not only brilliant, but possessed an excellent wit, and was alway willing to lend a helping hand wherever possible. It was always fun hear him share some bit of arcana about the "early" days of Apple. I want to express my condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed.

James McComb

February 12, 2013

I worked with Phil at Apple for years - a truly genuine person with a great sense of humor. He'll definitely be missed.

Stephen Luce

February 11, 2013

I will always remember Phil for (1) sharing the following helpful quote with me: "Can you think of any wisdom greater than kindness?"; (2) his significant musical ability (I have never seen and heard anybody else successfully deliver a Karaoke performance of Elton John's "Rocket Man" which requires much range of voice and energy, but Phil pulled it off!); and (3) his skills as an engineer (we all know he was a super computer software engineer, but I was also fortunate to have him around one evening when our group had a newly-donated miniature pool table, but nobody knew how to assemble it; then Phil arrived and he did it with ease in less than one hour!). I hope Phil rests in peace. I'm glad he touched my life in so many ways.

Bill and Lorain

February 10, 2013

Dear Katie, We wish we could hug you and hold you close. That will come later. Know we love you and feel deeply for you and your family. Phil was a very fine man and is now free of his disabilities and is with his God.

Michelle Boyle

February 10, 2013

I don't have a photo to post, but would like to post one of Phil's favorite videos. Keep on dancing in his memory...

Michelle Boyle

February 10, 2013

I was Phil's massage therapist for the last 13 years, and honored to consider him my friend for most of that time. Phil had, I think, the soul of a seeker and the mind of a scientist. I have the soul of a seeker and mystic inclinations, so we had many a lively conversation! Those conversations, and Phil's searching, will influence the rest of my life's work. I hope he'll see it from where he is now. Not seeing him every week has already left a big hole in my life, and I will never forget him. Funny, and witty, and easily delighted. Lonely, and sad, and in some ways unreachable. Phil, I can't be sorry that you're in less pain now. What I will remember most are two things: your deep and genuine caring for friends, family, and the whole big world, and your smile, shining from your whole being.

Whitney Thompson-Harner

February 9, 2013

I always felt Uncle Phil and I were close. While we didn't see each other very often, we shared a sarcastic sense of humor and a love of all things nerdy and I enjoyed every time I got to see him. Last year, Phil sent me an email on pi day (March 14th, 3.14, my wedding anniversary) to tell me happy anniversary and sent along information about pi, tau, and other nerdy mathy things. I have so many fond memories throughout my life of the times I was able to spend with my Uncle Phil. I am glad he is finally at peace but will miss him so much.