Preston was born on May 2, 1956 in Dallas, Texas. He passed away April 11, in Bend.

He is survived by his wife, Julie Portnoy Thompson, his daughter, Piper Thompson, and two sisters.

Preston started building guitars in the 1970s with the well-known luthier Charles Fox, who started the first school for guitar makers in North America. His guitars made their way into the hands of Charles Sawtelle, of Hot Rize fame, during the mid-1980s, leading to a lifetime friendship and a passion for capturing that vintage tone. Preston had access and thoroughly studied Sawtelle’s collection of rare and famous pre-war vintage instruments, and built Charles a guitar that became one of his most treasured instruments. For three years in a row during the 1980s, his instruments were selected as a prize by the winners of the National Flatpicking Championships at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas.

Thompson guitars will again be part of the selection of prize guitars in 2019, coming full circle back to one of Preston’s proudest moments as a builder.

Since 2013 and the creation of PK Thompson Guitars with partner Dan Stewart, Preston has shared and trusted his team with those detailed measurements to build a company that produces that vintage sound he so cherished for many musicians to enjoy. We are one small family here in Sisters, Oregon, and along with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Piper, we appreciate all of the support we have received while Preston has been ill over the past year. He was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. We look forward to carrying on his legacy and dedication to the craft of guitar building.

A memorial celebration will be held on Saturday, April 27, at 4 p.m. at The Belfry in Sisters.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you listen, share and enjoy music.