Tom Tracy

Grose Pointe News Obituary

Thomas J. Tracy Sr.
Died: Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Age: 67

Grosse Pointe native Thomas J. Tracy Sr., 67, died of prostate cancer on Wednesday, March 22, 2006, at his home in Santa Ana, Calif.

He was chief executive and principal owner of Tracy Industries Inc., the nation's largest remanufacturer and distributor of Ford Motor Company parts.

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 National Guard.

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 Integrity.

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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