Oct. 14, 2013 Edgewood Santa Fe County New Mexico, USA
THOMAS DAVID BRENZA, 57, of Edgewood, NM passed away peacefully at his home October 14, 2013 following a brief battle with cancer. Tom was born on September 14, 1956 in Cleveland Ohio. He graduated in 1974 from Cloverleaf High School in Lodi, Ohio. Tom entered the Air Force, stationed primarily at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ where he worked the flight line as an Aircraft Maintenance Specialist on A-10's. During that time he also worked on his Aircraft and Power plant training. His years of service were August 1978 – September 1980. He received his license as an A&P shortly after leaving the Air Force. Tom then returned to Ohio but realized quickly his love of the desert southwest and looked for a way to return. His love of airplanes took him on a different path at this time and he trained to be an Agricultural Pilot. While working for fixed based operations he would also do some crop dusting in the Texas Panhandle where he met his wife in 1981, Cara (Lenz) Brenza. They have been married for almost 32 years. Tom took many directions in his lifetime with employment working as a spray plane pilot. Tom also worked with students and taught them to fly as an instructor. He loved working on airplanes, flying airplanes, and then fell in love with sailplanes. He rebuilt a German classic Nimbus 2 sailplane in his garage in Taylor Ranch in the mid 1980's and was an avid participant in the ABQ Soaring Club for many years. After many years of flying gilders, Tom then turned to being the local "fiberglass expert" and built a business of working on gliders. In 2006 Tom found an opportunity to get involved with sports car racing. He bought and rebuilt a 1969 Austin Mini Cooper and raced with the Southwest Motorsports Club and SCCA. The 2012 racing season Tom received a perfect point score for his Vintage class. Tom loved racing cars and the people involved. During his lifetime his motto was: "If it's worth doing, it is worth doing right." He was a master at most everything he did mechanically. Tom is preceded in death by his father Arthur D. Brenza. Tom is survived by his wife Cara (Lenz) Brenza of Edgewood, NM; his son Levi T. Brenza of Edgewood, NM; mother Norma J. Brenza of Lebanon, Ohio; sister Barbara (Brenza) Robinson of Dayton, Ohio; brothers Robert Brenza of Akron, Ohio, John Brenza of Dayton Ohio and James Brenza of Cincinnati, Ohio; and many loving in-laws, nieces and nephews. Tom's services will be held at Mountainside United Methodist Church in Cedar Crest, where Tom was a past trustee and active member of the church family, on October 18 at 10:00am. with Pastor John R. Rech officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to Southwest Motorsports Club, P.O. Box 94676, Albuquerque, NM 87199. Tom's interment will be at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, just outside Cleveland Ohio, where his father lays. A date will be announced.