Born in Los Banos on Oct. 17, 1914, Mr. Thiercof, better known as “Joe or Jockey”, was the son of Emory Walter Thiercof and Lenora Frances Maher. He was one of six siblings, Frances Thiercof Prien, Emory Thiercof, Barbara Thiercof Murry, Mary Louise Thiercof and Robert Thiercof.
After attending grammar school in Los Banos and Bellarmine College in San Jose, Mr. Thiercof pursued a business degree from Santa Clara University.
He served as a decorated 1st lieutenant in the U.S. armed forces during World War II. Following his military service, in 1946, Joe married Norine Erreca, also of Los Banos.
The majority of Mr. Thiercof’s business life was spent farming outside of Los Banos or tending his walnut orchard outside of Gustine. The Los Banos ranch afforded him the sport of pheasant, dove and duck hunting, which he extended to local hunters. Duck hunting was his platform for storytelling, including stories about the great hunting dog Sport and ranch alligator Big Mike.
An avid sports fan, Mr. Thiercof competed as a serious ballplayer and spent his summers at the ocean body-surfing. He loved his game of golf so much he and Norine became members of Turlock Country Club.
Perhaps Mr. Thiercof’s greatest challenge began five years ago, when he suffered a major stroke, leaving him paralyzed on his left side. His doctors predicted that he would not be able to leave his bed. Joe proved them wrong. With the devotion of his wife, coupled with his ""tough as nails"" personality, he was eventually able to be up and about.
Besides his loving wife, Norine, Mr. Thiercof is survived by his four loving children, Raymond Thiercof of San Jose, John Thiercof of Escalon, Mary Lou Thiercof and Judy Thiercof Waldear, both of Oakland. He also leaves six adoring grandchildren.
A mass to celebrate Mr. Thiercof’s life will be held on Friday at 10:30 am at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Los Banos.
The family requests no flowers be sent. Those who wish, may contribute in Joe's memory to the National Kidney Foundation of Northern California, 611 Mission Street, 3rd floor, San Francisco 94105.