March 18, 1932 ~ October 15, 2009
Some people dream of great accomplishments while others stay awake and do them. It is with that driving spirit which made Evelyn a success in her career and family life as she was a firm believer that it is not what you take, but what you leave behind that defines greatness.
Born Evelyn Louise Sykes on March 18, 1932 in Cleveland, Ohio, she was the fifth child of Bernard and Elizabeth Sykes, who along with Evelyn's brothers Bernard Sykes, Jr. and Frank Sykes, preceded her in death.
After graduating from Glenville High School, she met Richard Anderson Thompson of Dalton, Georgia. The couple married in 1951 and eventually left Ohio, making a home in Los Angeles where they raised their children; son, Gary, and daughter, Gale. Niece, Denise Calhoun, also lived with the Thompsons in their early years in Southern California, and was a great help to Evelyn in recent years during her times of hospitalization and illness.
Prior to her entrepreneurial ventures, Evelyn worked for the Los Angeles County and Bullock's department store. She also spent 20 years as a civilian employee with the United States Air Force's Air Training Command and received numerous accolades for her service, among them a Superior Performance Award. During that time, she also did taxes.
Evelyn, together with Richard, helped build a successful family-owned trucking company, Thompson's Trucking, where even a then five-year-old Gale worked in the office answering phones. In the early 70s, Evelyn, fiercely independent, opened Thompson's Tax and Bookkeeping, operating the business from a converted Craftsman Bungalow on Vernon Avenue where she created a comfortable, home-like environment for her associates and clients. She later moved her office in-home in 1998 after suffering a stroke.
Her business acumen proved an asset for her love of card playing. She was legendary for her Friday-night-'til-Sunday-morning poker parties and frequented the Las Vegas casinos. She segued that passion working as a card dealer at the Rainbow Club, and later The Monterey Club where in 1965 she met Barbara Melton, who became an inseparable friend and confidante.
As important as her business was, family came first and Evelyn selflessly gave of herself to them. She often regaled in their accomplishments, and was not only a fervent cheerleader but a wise and thoughtful council. At Christmastime, she overwhelmed her family- and her neighbors- with extravagant decorations along with the delicious meals cooked by Earline "Sister" Knuckles. For Evelyn, it was all part of the fun in celebrating the holidays.
Along with Gary, and his wife, Trudy, of Hesperia, CA and Gale, and her husband, Norman, of Redmond, WA, Evelyn is survived by her ten grandchildren: Amber (of Los Angeles), Lindsey, Shanon, Wesley, and her husband Bruce, Gary, Jr. and Hayli (all of Hesperia); Jason (Redmond, WA), Matthew (San Francisco, CA), Martin (Studio City, CA) and Heather (Redmond, WA); and four great-grandchildren: Jordan, Zoe-Lin, Amia and Cy, who is due to be born any day now.
Also mourning her loss are sister Earline Knuckles (Westlake Village, CA), brothers Edward Sykes and Harold Sykes, both of Cleveland, Ohio, and her beloved "Barb" of Los Angeles, CA, along with a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle