Thomas "Tom" W. COMPTON
February 22, 1946 – March 29, 2020
Tom left his earthly life on Sunday, 3/29/20 after a 15 month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was preceded in death by his parents, Theron (Comp) Compton and Florence E. Compton.
Tom grew up in Ballard and graduated from Ballard High School in 1964 and attended Washington State University for two years. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in 1966 and served in Vietnam. Tom was very proud be a Marine and many of his habits were shaped by his military service. After he was honorably discharged from the service he went to work for Pacific NW Bell as a mail boy. He spent his entire 38 year career in telecommunications retiring from Qwest Communications as one of the top sales managers in the company. After retirement Tom went to work at Central Market, Mill Creek in the Seafood Department. He worked there for approximately 6 years. Tom met his wife Kathryn (Kathy) in 1971 and they were married in 1973. They have one daughter, Kate.
Like any challenge Tom met this diagnosis head on. His mantra was “looking to the future with grit and optimism.” Not focusing on the diagnosis but rather living life to the fullest, he was determined to beat the statistics of this disease.
Tom had a knack for focussing a conversation on an individual and really getting to know who they were. He was always full of questions no matter what the subject. Tom loved sports, whether it was participating as a child and well into his adult years, coaching women’s softball and little league or watching his beloved Huskies, Mariners and Seahawks. He was a wealth of sports trivia. He made a science out of fishing in Puget Sound, be it shrimping, crabbing or salmon fishing. He was always willing to share what he had learned and had many enjoyable hours on the water with family and friends, aka “the crew.” Tom loved to garden and no one could put a shine on a car or boat like Tom. He was a list maker, a labeler and an organizer. He will be missed by many including his wife Kathryn of 47 years, his daughter Kate, son in law Kurtis and granddaughter Juniper. Tom held a special place in the hearts of many other family members and friends; from brother and sister in laws, nephews, nieces, great nephews, great nieces and cousins to neighbors, co-workers and fishing buddies. Tom had an exuberant personality and was famous for his sayings. If you knew Tom you will think of him whenever you hear Fish On, Cheese and Crackers, Semper Fi or Go Dawgs!
Tom chose cremation and services will be held at a later date at Tahoma National Cemetery with full military honors. He will be laid to rest with his parents. A celebration of life will be held in his honor later this year when we will be able to gather to grieve and celebrate safely.
Thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for their expertise and friendship. Remembrances may be made in Tom’s honor to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance PO Box 19023, Seattle WA 98109-1023, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center PO Box 19024 Seattle, WA 98109-1024 or the charity of your choice
Thomas "Tom" W. COMPTON
April 6, 2021
Semper Fi and RIP Marine
Ballard HS 1964
PNW Bell 1968-1969
Bellevue PD 1969-2001
Thanks for the Memories
Herman & Judy Bosse
March 30, 2021
Dear Kathy, Katie, Curtis and Jupiter,
Miss Tom and his big smile. Pray daily for you all.
Love, prayers and hugs, Cousin Herman and Judy
June 4, 2020
When I think of Tom I always smile and have a few chuckles. We lived just a block away from each other for years and met as members of George Morris's west coast crew on Holy Moly.
Tom's contributions to this team were impressive. When it came to shrimping Tom"s secret recipe always worked to perfection. There was never a dull moment on Holy Moly. We could always count on a lot of laughter and story telling. And if the truth be known, Tom had a big hand in our successful pursuit of Salmon, Lings, and Crabs and where the Sand Dabs were. To me Tom was a larger than life personality that rarely come along. I really appreciate getting to know him and calling him a good friend.
April 28, 2020
I was fortunate (and blessed) to spend time with Tom on a number of fishing and crabbing outings on the Sound over the past several years. The conversations we had - talking about Husky football, Mariner players from the past, fishing techniques and gear- I will treasure for the rest of my life. Tom's words of wisdom and advice were always accompanied by a smile. He seemed to know what he was doing (or about to do) or say - and did so with conviction and certainty of purpose. Admirable traits for sure - that's what I will recall when I think of Tom and the good times we shared.
My sincere condolences, Kathy, to you and your family, from Cindi and me.
Rest in peace, my friend.
Beth and Tim Green and Halm
April 20, 2020
What a neighbor we had in Tom. We will miss his conversational friendliness and inspirational work ethic. His love of his family made one wish they were related to him. Kind, generous, reliable that was Tom, and he lived it everyday. Tom will especially be missed this August when the neighbors meet to talk, share food and catch up on each others lives. We will think of him very often especially when we eat fresh, line caught salmon. What a neighbor we had in Tom.
Pete and Sue Warren
April 20, 2020
Pete and I are very sorry to read of Tom's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
We have such fond memories of Tom during those Peoples Bank years. Tom was fun, engaging and always interested in other people's lives. Very much a gentleman. They were fun years.
We're thinking of you.
Love, Sue and Pete
April 19, 2020
Went all thru school with Tom, Whittier Elementary, Monroe Jr High, and Ballard. My 2 most vivid memories of Tom are: a very good baseball player, and a fishing fanatic.
I remember riding my bike down 15th ave to the Compton home, ........it also had Mrs Compton's beauty shop on the street level.. Picking up Tom,pedaling east on 65th, up and over the dreaded Phinney Ridge Hill, and finally getting to Green Lake to fish for trout. He was very persistent and he would want to stay to the bitter end, even if the fish weren't bitting.
RIP my friend
April 19, 2020
I did not know Tom as long as perhaps others’ did
But in the last 10 years I spent more time with Tom than most, and he with me. I am very thankful for that
Time is a precious thing, Tom was a most
generous man with his time
Rest In Peace my friend and teacher
George (aka ”Skipper” by Tom)
April 19, 2020
I remember Tom from our awesome class of ‘64 at Ballard. He was such a lovely, kind person! We really did have a wonderful class, even though it was huge!
I enjoyed reading Tom’s obituary and catching up on his wonderful life! I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing his life story with us.
Blessings to all his family and friends .💕
Jeff and Solveig Peck
April 18, 2020
Dear Tom, we are the poorer for not having you in our lives but richer for having had you. We are glad that your earthly suffering is done. XXXOOO