Tribute to Tom Tracy
On March 22, 2006, St. Joseph Hospital lost a true friend. Tom Tracy, a generous donor to the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, died following a long battle with cancer. Those of us at St. Joseph will remember his wit, his business acumen and his devotion to his family. St. Joseph Hospital wasn’t the only recipient of Tom’s generosity. He was also involved in his local parish as well as serving on several key committees in the Diocese of Orange. He was an active member of the Republican party and proud of his Irish heritage. So proud, in fact, that during his lifetime, he served on more than 25 organizations related to the Irish.
Tracy enjoyed a successful career for many years in Ford Motor Company’s marketing and sales division. About a decade into his career, Tracy left the automaker to start out on his own, Tracy Industries, Inc. The company, in which Tom held the title of president and CEO, continues today as a highly successful Ford Remanufacturer and authorized distributor, employing several hundred people in branches across the nation. “St. Joseph Hospital and I were privileged to have served Tom and his family during all the years that he was treated at our hospital, especially in Tom's last months and days,” said Julie Holt, Vice President, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation.
“I have many memories of Tom, but the strongest one is the first time I met him when he came to a meeting with Dr. Tyson Cobb, Charlie Kovac and me with check in hand. Tom said he didn't want to go through all the formalities of being asked to make a gift to the hospital. He just handed us a very generous check.
“And then he had lots and lots of questions,” she continued. “Charlie and I took him on a tour of the hospital. He wanted to know about everything and ducked his head into all kinds of doors and closets, wanting to know what was going on there.
“In the years I got to know him, I realize that in the first meeting, I met the real Tom Tracy -- curious, unconventional, interested in everyone and everything. And, most of all, he and the family have been extremely generous to the hospital and for that we will always be grateful. He honored many physicians by making gifts in their names.
“I will never forget the dedication of the hospital’s new Urology Center, last October. Tom was able to get there from his hospital bed -- thanks to Dr. Feraidoun Khonsari and the dedication of the Cancer Center nurses and the Tracy family. Tom was so pleased to be a part of that and to stand from his wheelchair to cut the ribbon.”
The hospital joins with the Tracy family, their friends and the thousands of lives that Tom touched in his all-too-short life. But we know that his spirit will live on through the many gifts that he made to the hospital and countless others.
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