Custom Building Products mourns loss of founder
January 16, 2008
Thomas R. Peck, Sr., founder of Custom Building Products, has passed away. He was 91.
Born October 29, 1916 in upstate New York, Tom moved to southern California with his family in 1919. After graduating from Bell High School, he served his country in the U.S. Army, stationed in the South Pacific during WWII. Upon his return, Tom joined his aunt in a small paint business and thus began a life-long career marked by success and the admiration and respect his colleagues, customers, employees and peers in the building and construction industry.
Over the next decade he worked tirelessly as sole owner and operator of his fledgling business. During this time he demonstrated his remarkable ability to see and create opportunity without compromising ethics. Tom’s rare combination of genuine warmth and keen business vision made him admired and loved by everyone he met.
In 1964 Tom and the late Mike Bilek, Sr. established Custom Building Products with little more than an idea and the determination and willingness to make it happen. The dream eventually grew to be the leading tile installation product supplier in North America, with over 1,500 employees in 15 locations. He was so devoted to his work and his employees that he continued to go to work until he was hospitalized in November 2007. Earlier that year he hit his first hole-in-one on the golf course. In spite of spectacular business success he remained a humble, generous man who never turned his back on anyone.
“It is difficult to overestimate Tom Peck’s influence on Custom Building Products. His almost daily presence at our corporate office served as an example of what is important to us in business: focus on our customers, employees and vendors, and treat each of them with respect and fairness,” said Tom Peck, Jr., president of Custom. “My father lived to that standard and he became a wonderful example of how to successfully grow a business. His legacy and that of his late partner and co-founder, Mike Bilek, will continue to guide us in the future.”
Tom is survived by his wife, Ruth, children Tom Peck, Jr., Sandi Williams, Christie Peck and Randy Peck, and 10 grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Diabetes Association Thomas R. Peck memorial fund. Contributions may be made at https://diabetes.org/secure/donation/Donate.do?action=Memory.