Club Insider

Ron Thompson

1956 - 2018

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Trissa and Ron ThompsonTrissa and Ron Thompson

Ron Thompson, age 62, of Dana Point, California, a renowned giant in the health and fitness club industry, passed away suddenly on September 17, 2018. Ron was a pioneer in the growth of the global fitness industry, joining Ray Wilson in launching Family Fitness Centers in Southern California in the late 1970s, and later serving as COO of 24 Hour Fitness.

Born in 1956 to Angie and Patrick Thompson, a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, Ronald Mark Thompson's childhood was spent in California, Hawaii and the Philippines. Along with his older brother, Bruce, Ron made his mark in athletics early, lettering in varsity baseball and football at his Rancho Cordova, California high school. Ron graduated from San Diego State University, where he was hand-selected by Wilson to help direct the growth of Family Fitness which, with Ron's leadership, would dominate the industry throughout the West and become the model for the growth of all major national fitness businesses in the country.

Ron's region grew to include 21 clubs, becoming the most profitable in the Family Fitness chain. Named VP of Sales and COO of 24 Hour Fitness when it acquired Family Fitness in 1995, Ron was admired for being an exceptionally motivating mentor for team members, trainers and clients alike, and he is credited with the success of many friends whose careers he helped advance throughout the industry.

Since retiring from 24 Hour Fitness, Ron had been an active consultant and had continued to develop health clubs in Oregon, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Iowa. Ron was a devoted husband to his wife, Trissa, with whom he celebrated their 28th anniversary in May, and a loving father to sons, Cole and Wyatt. Described as a "head-turner with the soul of a cowboy," Ron blended his uniquely bold, unabashed charm and mischievous spirit with solid, uncompromising integrity. "Ron was my 'rock' and every friend's best friend: a phenomenally loyal, insightful, generous guy," said a friend of forty years. "He was the go-to whether you needed advice on a business problem, feedback on a family issue or you just wanted a guaranteed good laugh."

With passions ranging from fitness, football and pranks to golf, movies, classic cars, worldwide travel and more, Ron treasured annual family traditions he created with his wife, Trissa, and his sons, Cole and Wyatt, often including travel to mountains or beaches. He is also survived by his parents, Angie and Pat Thompson, of Peoria, Arizona. A funeral mass was held at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, CA on Friday, September 28, 2018.

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