Richard T. Tracy
Richard T. Tracy
  • April 5, 1927 - December 8, 2017
  • Chandler, Arizona

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Mesa, AZ 85202
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Richard Tracy's two passions in life were music and law. The song, The Impossible Dream, could very well have been written about him, as Rick never thought he would be able to pursue either of these paths. One required talent and luck, the other required years of education. Rick had a beautiful singing voice, however, opportunities were limited due to the competition of the recording industry; and although Rick had the necessary drive and intelligence for a career in law, education was expensive.

Richard Tracy was born in 1927 in Struthers, Ohio. During the depression his parents moved to Manhattan, where Rick was raised by relatives until 1939. Rick never completed the 8th grade. As a teen he shuffled between Manhattan and Ohio, doing odd jobs. It was during this time he developed his love of horses while working at the stables in Central Park. Rick also ushered at Radio City Music Hall in Times Square and, at that time, he occasionally sang with various Big Bands.

At the age of 16 (he misrepresented his age) Rick, like many of his generation, answered the call of duty and joined the Marine Corps. During WWII he was stationed in the Pacific, and he also served in the Korean War. During his military service, he met his wife, Helen F. Cooper, a sergeant in the Women's Army Corps. Rick was fond of relating the many stories of his time in the war, like the time he was flying on a transport plane over the Pacific and noticed the guy sitting next to him was Tyrone Power, or the white goat his company had adopted as a camp pet, and battling a violent bout of malaria onboard a ship offshore from Okinawa.

After his military service, Rick returned to New York where he received his GED. With the help of the GI Bill, Rick attended Long Island University, then graduated from Brooklyn Law School, and went on to pass the New York State Bar Exam. At this time, he was working as a claims examiner for Allstate Insurance. He then decided to move his young family to Youngstown, Ohio, where he became the claims manager for Allstate. Subsequently, Rick passed the Ohio State Bar Exam. He then entered into a private law practice. At the same time, Rick was also licensed to practice law in front of the United States Supreme Court. He served on the U.S. Supreme Court Justice O'Connor's Joint Committee on Court Reform.

While in Ohio, Rick was active in his family's activities and in their church. In 1970, he and his family moved to Arizona. Rick became a law clerk for Arizona's former Chief Justice, Ernest McFarland, who had also been the Governor of Arizona, a U.S. Senate Majority Leader, and was known as one of the "Fathers of the GI Bill". Rick also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Lorna Lockwood. During this time Rick studied for and passed the Arizona State Bar Exam. After a year as a trial attorney, Rick was appointed as a City Municipal Court Judge, where he served for six years. Following this appointment, Rick re-entered private law practice.

After 31 years of marriage, Rick and Helen divorced. A few years later, Rick met Donna Storto, a geography teacher in Mesa, Arizona. Upon their retirements, Rick and Donna spent their years together traveling and enjoying family, until her death in 2016.

In Rick's spare time he was devoted to being a chairman and spokesperson for the Phoenix Mountain Preservation Council; he served as a president of the Western Saddle Club, and was an advocate for court reform. Rick and his horse, Tuffy, participated in parades for the Gompers Rehabilitation Center and with the Scottsdale Parada Del Sol. He was a member of Rotary International, the Mercedes Club, and the Elk's Club.

With hard work and perseverance, Rick was able to attain his dreams. Not only did he sing with Big Bands in Times Square, with church choirs, and with various other organizations, he impacted our country as an attorney, a municipal court judge, and a court reform advocate. The Impossible Dream was truly written for Rick.

Rick passed away peacefully at Dobson House Hospice. He is proceeded in death by his ex-wife, Helen Tracy (2008), his companion, Donna Storto (2016), stepson, Edward Storto (2002), half brother, Thomas Allen, and half brother Harold Monroe (2017). Rick is survived by sons, Richard T. Tracy Jr., Al Tracy, and daughter, Kathleen Tracy; step-daughters, Theresa Storto-Montano (Mark), Nancy Graham (Bob), stepson George Storto Jr. (Pam); half sisters Shirle M. Wylam (Rod) of Youngstown, OH, Dorothy A. Cipriano of Austintown, OH; 12 grandchildren, 11 great grand children, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, and his good friend and former business associate, Chester W. Horlick of Youngstown, OH.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, December 26th from 5pm - 7pm at Lakeshore Mortuary, 1815 South Dobson Road, Mesa, AZ 85202, on. Memorial service will be held on Wednesday, December 27th at 10:30 am, at St. Matthew's Methodist Church, 2540 West Baseline Road, Mesa, AZ 85202, followed by a private burial.