To those who knew Kenneth “Kenny” Thompson, he was an icon of the lath and plaster industry. He passed away recently at age 85.

Thompson started Thompson Building Materials in 1982 with his first yard in Orange, California. He eventually had material yards around the state and then founded Omega Products International, a stucco manufacturer that expanded operations throughout the western U.S.

When Thompson saw an opportunity or need, he rarely hesitated and would “dive in with full vigor to make it happen,” according to a release from his close contacts. He ended up owning dozens of significant companies in various industries. His passion was promoting young boxers with Thompson Promotions, a top-level promoter.

He was also a great supporter of trade associations, such as the Stucco Manufacturers Association, The Western Wall and Ceiling Contractors Association and other regional groups in our industry. Thompson shaped the industry, and his passing marks the end of an era for plastering.