Thomas R. Peck, Sr., co-founder of Seal Beach, Calif.-based Custom Building Products, died Jan 3. He was 91. He is remembered by colleagues for his “rare combination of genuine warmth and keen business vision that made him admired and loved by everyone he met.”

Born Oct. 29, 1916 in upstate New York, Peck moved to Southern California with his family in 1919. After graduating from Bell High School, he served in the U.S. Army in the South Pacific during WWII. Upon his return, he joined his aunt in a small paint business, which he ran for the next 10 years.

In 1964, Peck and the late Mike Bilek, Sr., launched Custom Building Products. Their company grew to become one of the largest tile installation product makers in North America, with more than 1,500 employees and 15 locations. According to Peck’s son and Custom president Tom Peck, Jr., he left a lasting legacy.

“It is difficult to overestimate Tom Peck’s influence on Custom Building Products,” he said. “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. My father lived to that standard and he became a wonderful example of how to successfully grow a business.“

Peck is survived by his wife, Ruth; children Tom Peck, Jr., Sandi Williams, Christie Peck and Randy Peck; and 10 grandchildren.  The family plans to hold a private service to scatter his ashes at one of his favorite fishing spots. “Although he practically never caught any fish, it is a testament to his cheerful disposition that he loved to fish nonetheless,” his family remembered.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association Thomas R. Peck memorial fund. For more information, visit  the following link: