Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1938, Thomas J. Tracy, Sr. was a man of many facets. After graduating from Portsmouth Abbey School, Rhode Island and Regis University, Denver, he served his Country in the Wyoming and Michigan Air National Guard. Dad then took a position with Ford Motor Company. After several successful years in Ford's Marketing and Sales departments, Dad left the automaker for our family's corporation which is now called Tracy Industries, Inc. The company, in which Dad held the position of President and CEO, continues to remain a multi million-dollar Ford Remanufacturer and Authorized Distributor, which employs several hundred people in branches across the United States. Highly respected in his industry, Dad had also served as President of the Production Remanufacturers Association and was awarded that organization' s highest honor for outstanding contribution to the industry.
Another aspect of our Dad, Tom Tracy was his political involvement. A lifelong member of the Republican Party, he served his party with both generous contributions and his active party membership including several years on the Orange County Republican Party Finance Committee.
Then there is, of course, the Irish facet of our Dad. A third generation Irish American on both sides, with roots in County Carlow and Mayo, Tom's commitment to his home land was so deep it is difficult effectively communicate. He was actively involved not only in terms of generous monetary donations, but more importantly, he donated his time, in over twenty-five Irish related organizations. He received the American Ireland Fund Distinguished Leadership Award in 1996. This honor recognizes "An American of Irish heritage whose accomplishments exemplify the spirit of Irish immigrants, who contributed so vitally to the development of the United States as a great nation." He also participated in organizations such as Co-Operation North, the Irish American Cultural Institute, Northern Ireland Development Board and the Northern Ireland Partnership. For many years, Dad devoted countless hours towards his commitment to seek peace in Ireland. In 1999, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by University College Cork, Ireland, for his selfless personal dedication and philanthropic generosity in supporting Ireland and its heritage, as well as for his continued championship of studies in conflict resolution.
Along with his Irish roots, Tom is a man of extraordinary, strong and devoted faith. His deep involvement in the Catholic Church includes being a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, Western Lieutenancy of the United States. He served on several key committees in the Diocese of Orange, California and acted as a financial advisor and friend to a number of religious orders.
In addition to the many components of Tom Tracy, his incredible business sense, his political involvement, his devotion to the Church; he was and is an exemplary father. A loving husband to Erma Jean, a father of five children, Cynthia, Christina, Katherine, Kilian, and Thomas Jr., a father in law to Greg McCanna and Fitz Ollison and grandfather to Gregory, Remington, Shane, Patrick, Ashlyn, Lily and Kingsley.
Dad now holds the final piece to life’s puzzle, and his determination, courage, vision, and vibrancy honors us all as we move forward in our future. To paraphrase Lincoln, Tom was a man who could walk with kings but never lost the common touch. Thomas Joseph Tracy, Sr. is indeed, nothing less than a living legend who will be missed dearly each day with every sunrise and every sunset.