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Thomas Donald Rienecker

April 16, 1954 ~ February 10, 2018 (age 63)
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Thomas Donald Rienecker, age 63, died in a tragic street crash on Saturday, February 10, 2018, in Sonoma, CA.  Tom, affectionately known as “Tommy,” “Brother Buzz” and “Moose,” was born April 16th, 1954, in San Rafael, CA.  He graduated from Sonoma Valley High School in 1972 and went on to study Industrial Arts and Theater, and Auto Mechanics at Santa Rosa Junior College.  An avid reader, coupled with a passion for repairing anything with moving parts, Tom’s extensive knowledge made him adept at repairing motorcycles at Jim and Jim’s Motorcycles in Sonoma while also helping his father, Don Rienecker, with the family business, Valley Farming Co., repairing tractors and farm equipment. As a young man, he also helped his dad hauling hay and “bucked bales,” developing the endearing knick-name “Moose.”

In the ’70s, beyond the age of riding go-carts, Tom caught the “racing bug” and began racing a Yamaha TZ750 in the AMA Formula One Series at Sears Point Raceway, not an easy feat for someone of his size and stature. He later raced classic motorcycles.  His love of theater eventually lead him to his present position as a stagehand for Local 16 International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees in San Francisco.  He previously worked at Island Creative on Treasure Island and locally for KRCB in Rohnert Park, doing filming, lighting and directing. 

Tom’s pastimes included collecting an abundance of vintage motorcycles, sharing his vast knowledge of literally everything with anyone, and spending time with his comrades, joining them for “The Sunday Morning Ride” beginning at Mt. Tamalpais, then riding off to other destinations.  He was a great resource of information on many levels for his work and friendships.  He was always ready to lend a helping hand and will be terribly missed by all.

Tom is survived by his son, Dean Rienecker, and Dean’s mother, Sandra Kruse of Petaluma; Tom’s life-long partner, Christina Van Krugel; mother Isabel Rienecker; sisters Karen Martin (Rich Martin) of Sonoma and Linda Gavette (Tom Gavette) of Petaluma; nieces and nephews Clay, Katey and Max Martin, and Mary and Clinton Gavette; many cousins and his community of friends.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 27th, at 11:00 am at St. Francis Solano Church in Sonoma.  Please join us for a reception to follow at Burlingame Hall of First Congregational Church so we can talk and share as Tom would enjoy!  

In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to “Behind the Scenes Charity” at Thank you!

Donations may be made to:

Behind the Scenes
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 609, New York NY 10036
Tel: 1-212-244-1421

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