E. John Thomason left the world a little bit sweeter when he died at home in Napa, California on March 21, 2020.
Born to Ellen and Boris Thomason on May 13, 1928, John was the youngest of four brothers, Eugene, Ivan, Jerome, and E. John Thomason, who remained close throughout their lives. Born and reared in Davis, California, John was the highest ranking JROTC cadet in the history of Davis Senior High School and served in the United States Army during the Korean War after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Dairy Science from the University of California at Davis.
John began his professional career at MacFarlane’s Candy Company and spent most of his career at Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, retiring in 1994 as Vice President of Manufacturing. The company named an ice cream factory after him, The E. John Thomason Manufacturing Facility, in Union City, California.
John was seldom idle in retirement. He enjoyed trout fishing in northern California and lobstering in Maine. On Saturday mornings, he could be found searching for treasures at garage and estate sales or buying and selling online and at sales and swap meets. He became an expert at whatever he collected and was a consummate salesman, he even sold an ice cream maker to an Eskimo (or at least someone who lived in Alaska).
John and Claire (née Brown) Thomason were married for more than 62 years and had three sons, Drew, Kirt, and Scott (Maria) Thomason. He was a devoted family man and an enthusiastically doting grandfather to Shelby and Camille Thomason. Grandpa John enjoyed many performances, competitions, and youth sporting events as one of their biggest supporters.
John Thomason was gregarious and found friends wherever he went. He mastered the art of the phone call and took to texting like a millennial. He was quick to lend a hand or offer advice, and he was generous with kind words and friendship.
Loss seems more profound in this pandemic’s time of social isolation so raise a glass (preferably a Manhattan) in a virtual toast to a life well lived and next time you enjoy a scoop of ice cream, join us in a bittersweet farewell to E. John Thomason.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Edmund John Thomason, please visit our floral store.