Tony Thompson, Little Compton

Veteran, media exec had a heart of gold and cheered on those he loved

Posted 9/26/21

Tony (Carlton Woodruff) Thompson died, surrounded by family, Monday night, September 20. After outrunning the condition for years, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis finally, and quite suddenly, caught up …

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Tony Thompson, Little Compton

Veteran, media exec had a heart of gold and cheered on those he loved

Posted

Tony (Carlton Woodruff) Thompson died, surrounded by family, Monday night, September 20. After outrunning the condition for years, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis finally, and quite suddenly, caught up with him.

Tony was born in 1933 in Flushing, NY and grew up in Los Angeles. He attended Phillips Academy Andover, finished high school at the Harvard School (LA) and graduated from Stanford University. He was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, flying helicopters from Japan at the end of the Korean Conflict.

Tony’s sister, Nancy, introduced him to her UC Boulder roommate, Nancy McDonald and he married the love of his life in 1960. In the first phase of his career, he had myriad roles in half a dozen cities at Time-Life, Inc., including Associate Publisher of LIFE Magazine en Español in Mexico City, running Time-Life Books South Pacific in Sydney Australia and, finally, helping to start (and, legend has it, coin the name for) Home Box Office (HBO) in New York. He then found a vocation that combined his love of connecting people and the media business and became an executive recruiter, culminating his career as Managing Director, Communications Industry Practice at Spencer Stuart Associates. In retirement, he was President of local public access cable channel 79 in New Canaan, CT where his family lived for many years. He and Nancy built a home in Little Compton, RI on land that was once owned by his grandfather and the couple had recently moved to Laurelmead, a residential cooperative in Providence.

Tony was always a cheerleader – and actually one at Stanford where his enthusiasm resulted in being run over by a parade float – not just on the sidelines of every one of his kids’ and grandkids’ games and performances but constantly producing banners, buttons and t-shirts to celebrate achievements. His cheering on family, friends and neighbors was an outlet for his endless creative energy; pranks, songs, signs, and, especially lately, poems and limericks. His great passion – in addition to cheap wine, bow ties, detective novels and used cars - was writing Class Notes for his alma maters, particularly his Stanford Class of ‘55 whose members he tracked like a biographer. He was an avid member of the Little Compton Congregational Church, Sakonnet Point, Spindle Rock and Acoaxet Clubs and a book group. He had recently founded a Croquet Club (for which he communicated only in verse) at Laurelmead. He leaves his wife Nancy, his sister Nancy Barker, his children Dewey, Elizabeth and Woody, and eight grandchildren.

Memorial service: Little Compton (RI) Congregational Church, Sunday Oct 10, 3pm.

Arrangements under the direction of the Potter Funeral Home, 81 Reed Rd., Westport, MA 02790.

To sign the online guestbook, please visit www.potterfuneralservice.com.

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