Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Richard Greifinger
Distance Runner and Friend 

Coach Bruce Thomson, 61, Leaves This World During a Last Run Down San Vicente With High School Friends.

He is remembered as a kind and gentle teacher and coach who never said a mean word to anyone.

 

Bruce Thomson, left, with Richard Greifinger

Bruce Thomson was a beloved track and cross country coach and teacher. After graduating from Hamilton High School in 1978, Bruce taught for over 20 years at San Pedro High School. He suddenly collapsed during a workout on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, and died of uncertain causes. Below is an obituary written by a friend of his, Richard Greifinger.

RIP Bruce Kinloch Thomson , 2/2/60 - 7/6/21

There are times when us mere mortal people realize that there are powers greater than us, and this was never more evident to me than just a few days ago.

A little background first..I met Bruce Thomson in late 1979 when we became training partners under the tutelage of the late great coach Pat Cady at the Santa Monica Track Club. Through the 1980s, we remained great friends as part of our own track club that Bruce help found (Club Hack). When I moved to Denver in 1991, Bruce and I kept in touch and he would arrange Club Hack get togethers every single visit, without fail.

In 1995, Bruce was my best man at our wedding. Bruce was a retired schoolteacher as well as a very well respected track and cross-country coach at San Pedro High. He had 15 or so championships under his belt. This coming season, he was to be an assistant coach at Pali High. He always wanted the best for his students and athletes, and affected 100s, if not 1000s of lives.

On June 30th this year, my wife and I came to visit so we could spread my dad's ashes ( he passed away last year), and visit my mom, brother, sister and my brother in law. Of course there was the Hack get togethers that Bruce arranged, one on 7.2 and another 7.5. After lunch on 7.5, Bruce and I agreed to meet for a workout on Ocean Ave and Montana Ave at 8 15am the next morning.

Lori Johnston

Memorial on San Vicente at the spot where Bruce Thomson left this world

7.6.21 -- I get to Ocean Ave and Montana at 8.15am, and meet Bruce and another good friend Irwin Merein . We start our workout with Bruce and I walking and jogging, Irwin is just walking, and going at his own pace. Bruce and I go to San Vicente up to 14th St., and turn around. Right around 4th St, I tell Bruce I need to go ahead for a quick " mother nature" break, and we will meet up. I come out of the facilities and head down Ocean Ave figuring Bruce would be well along by then, but no sign of him all the way to Montana Ave. Figuring I must have missed him, I head back up Ocean Ave towards San Vicente, and right before I get there, i see Irwin and he said "someone collapsed up on San Vicente ".

Irwin had been on the sidewalk, and did not know who it was. I rounded the bend there at Ocean Ave and San Vicente and quickly saw paramedics and a fire truck. Fearing the worst, I approached the scene and realized it was in fact Bruce that they were giving CPR to..at least a full 20 min, but ultimately to no avail as he was taken to UCLA hospital and never recovered.

Life is precious, life is too short, and some of our destiny is not in our hands.

Bruce..Rest in Paradise, love you always

 

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