Tom Tracy

Los Angeles Times Obituary

Thomas J. Tracy, Sr., 67, Chief Executive and principal owner of Tracy Industries, Inc., the nation’s largest remanufacturer and distributor of Ford Motor Company parts, died Wednesday at his home in Santa Ana, CA of Prostate Cancer.

Born December 19, 1938, in Detroit, MI, a third generation Irish American, Mr. Tracy devoted his life to family, faith and Country. 

Mr. Tracy attended Portsmouth Abbey School and graduated in 1957. In 1961 he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Regis University, in Denver, CO. Regis 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 Company, which also does business as Genuine Parts Distributors/ Tomadur Engine Company, and in 2000 became Tracy Industries, Inc. Highly respected in his industry, Mr. Tracy also served as President of the Production Remanufacturers Association and was awarded that organization's highest honor for outstanding contribution to the industry.

Along with his Irish roots, 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, California and acted as a financial advisor and friend to a number of religious orders. The Diocese of Orange presented Mr. Tracy 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.

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 was actively involved in many Irish related organizations.  For many years, Mr. Tracy devoted countless hours towards his commitment to seek 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.; son-in-laws, Brian Rofer and Greg McCanna; grandchildren, Gregory Jr., Remington and Shane; brother, Emmet Tracy Jr.; and sisters Mary Kay Farley and Denice Summers.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the St. Josephs Hospital Cancer Center, attn: Julie Holt, 1100 West Stewart Drive, Orange, CA 92868; (714) 771.8211;

Funeral Mass will be offered on Friday, March 31, at 11:00 a.m. at Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano, 31522 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA, 92675; (949) 234.1360. 

« Back To Tribute