Thomas Brenkwitz

died 2011-01-29  
Services will be Friday, Feb. 4, for Thomas Brenkwitz, 80, a longtime Tracy-area farmer who died Saturday at his home south of Tracy.

A native of Hayward, he graduated from San Mateo College in 1949 and began farming with his family in the East Bay before coming to the Tracy area 55 years ago.

For a number of years, Mr. Brenkwitz followed the family’s multi-generational tradition as a major apricot producer. He pioneered growing new apricot varieties and developing apricot-plum hybrid varieties. He had also grown cherries and walnuts.

Mr. Brenkwitz was a director of Apricot Producers of California and a member of the California Apricot Advisory Board.

He was a parishioner of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, the Tracy Elks Lodge and SIRS.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Barbara Brenkwitz of Tracy; a daughter, Laura Kennedy, and her husband, Ken, of Oakland; a son, Stephen Brenkwitz, and his wife, Mary Anne, of Tracy; a brother, Michael Brenkwitz of Tracy; and six grandchildren.

Preceding him in death was a brother, Richard Brenkwitz.

Friday’s services will begin at 11 a.m. at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 163 W. Eaton Ave., where a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated. Burial will be private.

A vigil service was conducted Thursday evening at Fry Memorial Chapel, 550 S. Central Ave. An online guest book is available through Fry Memorial Chapel.

The family prefers memorial contributions in Mr. Brenkwitz’s name to the Tracy Animal Shelter, 1000 Civic Center Drive, Tracy, CA 95376.

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