Grose Pointe News Obituary
Thomas J. Tracy Sr.
Died: Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Grosse Pointe native Thomas J.
Tracy Sr., 67, died of prostate
cancer on Wednesday, March 22,
2006, at his home in Santa Ana,
He was chief executive and principal
owner of Tracy Industries Inc., the
nation's largest remanufacturer and
distributor of Ford Motor Company
Mr. Tracy was born on Dec. 19, 1938, in Detroit and spent
the first 30 years of his life in Grosse Pointe. He was
devoted to his family, faith and country.
He was a 1957 graduate of Portsmouth Abbey School. In
1961, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Regis
University in Denver, Colo. The university awarded him a
degree of Doctor of Public Service honoris causa in 2001.
He served his country in the Wyoming and Michigan Air
After several successful years in Ford's marketing and sales
departments, Mr. Tracy left the automaker to join the
family business, Alma Piston Co., which also does business
as Genuine Parts Distributors/ Tomadur Engine Co., and in
2000 became Tracy Industries Inc.
Highly respected in his industry, Mr. Tracy served as
president of the Production Remanufacturers Association
and was awarded that organization's highest honor for
outstanding contribution to the industry.
Mr. Tracy was a man of extraordinarily strong and devoted
faith. His deep involvement in the Catholic Church
included being a Knight in the Equestrian Order of the Holy
Sepulcher of Jerusalem. He served on several key
committees in the Diocese of Orange, Calif., and acted as
a financial adviser and friend to a number of religious
orders. The Diocese of Orange presented him with the 2004
Bishop Tod D. Brown Award for Exemplary Business
Mr. Tracy was very active in politics and a lifelong member
of the Republican Party.
As a third-generation Irish American, he was actively
involved in many Irish organizations. He received in 1996
the American Ireland Fund Distinguished Leadership Award
which 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."
For many years, Mr. Tracy devoted countless hours toward
his commitment to seeking peace in Ireland. In 1999,
University College Cork, Ireland, awarded him an honorary
degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa 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.
Mr. Tracy is survived by his wife, Erma Jean; children,
Cynthia, Christina, Katherine, Kilian and Thomas Jr.; sonsin-
law, Brian Rofer and Greg McCanna; grandchildren,
Gregory Jr., Remington and Shane; brother, Emmet Tracy
Jr.; and sisters, Mary Kay Farley and Denice Summers.
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