Nick Thompson, a former truck driver who lobbied at the Capitol for the California Trucking Association, died April 18 of colon cancer, his family said. He was 51.
Mr. Thompson spent 15 years in the trucking industry, starting as a driver for Rainbo Bread before joining Roadway Express. After marrying Ditas Katague about 10 years ago, he stayed home to care for their daughter while earning a social sciences degree from California State University, Sacramento.
In 2007, he joined the California Trucking Association as director of safety policy. With extensive practical experience as a truck driver, dock worker, and dispatch and logistics manager and an easy-going charm, he worked with state lawmakers on transportation and truck safety issues.
He left the association in 2010 after he was diagnosed with cancer.
"It didn't matter if he was talking to an Assembly member or a senator or a janitor," CTA environmental affairs manager Chris Shimoda said. "Nick always made that person feel like the most important person in the room."
Nicholas John Thompson was born Nov. 22, 1960, in Almaden. He served four years in the Army and was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1984. He owned a restaurant in Colorado Springs, Colo., before settling in Sacramento.
He lived in east Sacramento and was active as a team coach for girls under 6 and under 12 in the East Sacramento Youth Soccer League. He devised a way to keep excited players under 6 from picking up the soccer ball during the game "by putting nickels in each of their hands and telling them to hold on to them for lollipops after the game," his wife said.
Mr. Thompson is survived by his wife; their daughter, Carenna; and a daughter, Randi, from a previous marriage that ended in divorce. Other survivors include his father, Don; mother, Carolyn Infantino; and sisters, Maryanne, Patricia, Lisa Radford and Jennifer Ayers.
A service is set for 10 a.m. Friday at Sacred Heart Church, 1040 39th St., Sacramento. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made out to Edward Jones FBO (for benefit of) Carenna Thompson and mailed to Edward Jones, 3600 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95816.