Albert Brocchini

Albert Brocchini


Albert Brocchini was born in San Francisco in 1918, moved to Manteca in 1925, attended Veritas School and graduated from Manteca High School. He met Rena Bersano and married the hometown girl in 1947. Al Brocchini was the owner of several businesses in Manteca before going into farming full time in 1972.

Albert Brocchini's early farming experiences basically were that of a one-man operation from hoe to irrigation to harvest to delivery. His tìrst crop was 20 acres of watermelons. From this humble beginning, Brocchini Farms has flourished and grown into a diversified farming operation which has included a cattle operation, row crops ranging from onions to pimentos, and many others. Alfalfa, corn, barley, oats, and wheat also were rotation crops incorporated in the operation.

Albert Brocchini's community involvement included serving on school boards from 1957 to 1969. From a one-man operation in 1948 of 20 rented acres to a family farming corporation which owns 3,500 acres and hires 25 year-round employees and about 200 employees during the peak harvest season, Brocchini Farms is proud of a 54 year history of farming in San Joaquin County.

Bobby Davis

Bobby Davis


Bobby Davis helped put Manteca on the map. Just turn on the television set and you would see one of his commercials for Manteca Trailer and Camper. Maanntteecca was the slogan for the ad.

Mr. Davis grew up in Herford, Texas where he graduated from Herford High School in 1950. After serving in the United States Air Force during the Korean War he was field clerk for Pacific Gas and Electric for 14 years. which brought him and his family to Manteca. During that time he attended night school and obtained an Associate of Arts Degree from San Joaquin Delta College.

Mr. Davis founded Manteca Trailer and Camper in 1970. With his good business sense it has grown to become one of the largest Recreational Vehicle dealerships in Northern California. Today Manteca Trailer has more than 50 employees with locations in Sacramento, Modesto, Merced, and Manteca.

Mr. Davis had been an active member of the community as a past City Council member during the early 1980’s and member of Manteca Noon Rotary. He has been very supportive of youth sports and contributed to many community charities throughout Manteca.

In 1980, Mr. Davis and several local business professionals helped establish Manteca Crime Stoppers.

Bobby Davis passed away in 1998. He built a strong family business in Manteca that is being operated by his three children.

Eugenio Emperador

Eugenio Emperador

Health Care

Dr. Eugenio (Gene) Emperador had devoted much of his life to the youth sport of Manteca, St. Anthony's Church, and his patients.

Prior to coming to Manteca in the mid l960's he grew—up in the City of Manila, Philippines. He attended Manila High School and then obtained a Medical Degree in 1956 at Manila Central University. Between 1965 and 1967, Eugenio Emperador completed his internship and Surgical Residency at San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp.

In 1967 Dr. Emperador opened his own medical practice that lasted almost thirty years. He was loved by his patients and highly respected by his colleagues.

Dr. Emperador was an active member of St. Anthony’s Church, where he served as Chairman of the School Board and member of the Young Men's institute. He also donated to the construction of the St. Anthony ‘s Gymnasium.

Eugenio Emperador loved his children and supported them in their activities. He was the team Physician for Manteca and East Union High Schools for over 20 years. He also volunteered his medical talents as team doctor for the Manteca Cowboys youth football.

Following his heart attack in 1983, he was compelled to make a public information video about Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation procedures.

Dr. Eugenio Emperador passed away in 1996. He had received awards of recognition for service to Manteca Cowboys and East Union High School.

Gladys Brock

Gladys Brock

Community Service

Gladys Brock, along with Hall of Fame member Mabel Brocchini, was the heart and soul of the Manteca Chamber of Commerce and the Manteca business community from 1950—1980.

Gladys served as manager of the Chamber from 1956-1963 and again from 1965-1985. During her long tenure as Chamber manager, she was instrumental in starting the ag luncheon and lecture, ag tour, chamber of commerce installation dinner, Miss Manteca pageant, Christmas parade, July 4th celebration and fireworks, ribbon cutting ceremonies, Manteca day at the County Fair, weekly business coffee hours, "operation Christmas" (convoy from Manteca to San Francisco with gifts for our servicemen), worked on the committee for the development of the Industrial Park, Chamber of Commerce membership drives, merchant’s alert, started the Downtown merchants committee, supervised construction of the ag booth at the San Joaquin County Fair, arranged sidewalk sales, organized the annual Christmas Fair, and participated on the Highway 120 Bypass Committee.

In 1996, the Chamber of Commerce instituted the "Gladys Brock Chamber Service Award." This award is given annually to the person who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to the city of Manteca.

James Thomas

James Thomas


A native of Oklahoma, Jim Thomas began the California part of his education career as a teacher at Manteca's Lincoln School in 1959. Four years later, he became the school's principal.

In 1972, the Board of Education asked him to serve as an Assistant Superintendent, though he had not applied for the job. While Assistant Superintendent, he negotiated contracts which provided for some of the highest teachers' salaries in the area, while keeping the district in sound financial health. Mr. Thomas served in that position until 1983, when he was appointed District Superintendent. He retired in 1986.

As Superintendent, and later as a district consultant, Jim Thomas was the key individual responsible for the successful school construction program in Manteca. This was accomplished at a minimal cost to local taxpayers due to his persistent pursuit of state construction funds. His work obtained funding for the building of five elementary schools, one high school, a high school library, and major modernization projects at four other schools.

The leadership, knowledge, energy, and dedication that Mr. Thomas provided to the Manteca Unified School District during the more than 30 years that he was associated with the district have been important factors in developing the reputation for educational excellence and fiscal responsibility that the district has enjoyed over the years.

Jess Payan

Jess Payan


Jess Michael Payan, a native son of Manteca, has distinguished himself as a person with extraordinary academic, athletic, and leadership skills. He is a source of pride for the community that gave him his start in life.

Jess Payan has an outstanding history as an athlete at Manteca High School in the sports of football, basketball, and baseball. He was selected All North State in California in both football and basketball in the same year, a feat not duplicated by any local athlete. While in high school he was the most valuable player in league championship in football three consecutive years and in basketball for one year. For his accomplishments. Jess Payan received a multitude of all league and state honors.

Following high school, Jess Payan received a number of college scholarship offers. He settled on a full scholarship at Santa Clara University where he excelled in football until the school dropped the sport. In the sport of baseball, he excelled during the four years prior to graduation. He continued his baseball career in the Army and with various semi-pro teams.

In his selected vocation, Jess Payan excelled as an educator and coach. In an exemplary and meritorious manner, he served as a role model and mentor to young people for 37 years. Numerous former students continue to seek him out to thank him for his advice and counsel.

Robert Goodwin

Robert Goodwin


Robert E. Goodwin was born in Manteca in 1917. He grew up on a farm on East Highway 120 and lived there his entire life.

Bob attended Calla Grammar School and Manteca High School.

For his entire life, Bob was an outstanding and contributing member of the Manteca community. He was always ready to do what he could to make things better in the community, especially for young people.

Bob owned a farm on East Highway 120 and throughout his life was active in farm, political service, fraternal, and youth organizations in Manteca and San Joaquin County.

Like his mother before him, Bob served on the Board of Trustees of Calla Grammar School from 1952 until the district unified in 1966. In 1956, when the San Joaquin County Board of Education became an elected body, Bob represented the Manteca area and served until his death in 1973. During that time he also served a term as president of that Board.

Bob was a member of Calla Farm Bureau, 1940 - 1973, holding all offices: San Joaquin County Farm Bureau, 1940 - 1973; president 1965 - 1966; Manteca Chamber of Commerce; San Joaquin County Chamber of Commerce 120 Bypass Committee, late 50’s and 60’s; 32nd Degree Mason, Manteca Tyrian Lodge; Pentalpha Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, Worthy Patron 1958 and 1960; St. Paul's Federated Church; and Manteca Lion's Club.

Walter Woodward

Walter Woodward


Arriving in Manteca from Southern California in 1905 and settling on 160 acres of land near present-day Airport Way and Woodward Avenue, Walter J. Woodward later (1907) became Manteca’s first real estate agent.

Born in Vermont in 1858, he grew up and married in Colorado, bringing his wife and four children to California in 1893. He was perhaps the only resident of Manteca who had any practical knowledge of how an irrigation district should he operated, having grown up in an irrigation district while in Colorado. He used that knowledge to help develop the South San Joaquin Irrigation District in 1909 and served on its first board of directors.

Mr. Woodward was instrumental in laying out the irrigation system which brought water to over 71,000 acres. In 1917, the SSJID board named a storage reservoir near Oakdale "Woodward Reservoir" in appreciation of his services for the irrigation district.

Continuing with his real estate business, Mr. Woodward finally retired in early September, 1939. Just two weeks later, he died at his home on Jessie Street.

Walter Woodward’s expertise in planning irrigation systems and his tireless promotion of the Manteca area were key factors in turning the sandy soil and tiny railroad station into the prime agricultural land and bustling city we see today.