Jim Carlos Brown

Jim Carlos Brown


Jim Brown has made many significant contributions to the educational community in the Manteca area. His teaching career began in 1962 with the Manteca Elementary School District. He spent his first six years teaching 7th and 8th grades at Golden West and Lincoln elementary schools. While teaching at these schools he helped start a summer program call Head Start.

In 1968, Jim transferred to the Manteca High School campus to teach in a new program called Continuation Education and taught in that program until 1970. He then joined the main teaching staff at Manteca High teaching math, drivers’ training and health/first aide and coached football and baseball. That assignment lasted until 1981.

Jim then transferred to East Union High School to teach math, physical education and health/first aide and took the head football coaching position. He remained there 17 years and retired from teaching in 1998.

Jim has earned many awards and honors. Jim has always conducted himself in a professional way and acted in the best interest of his students and athletes. As a coach at both Manteca and East Union high schools, Jim proved to be an outstanding coach in football, baseball and golf earning several championships in each sport.

Mr. Brown has served as a role model for the students and athletes over a 38-year period and has continued to do so as he remains active in the California Interscholastic Federation and Manteca Recreation Department committees.

As a person, Jim always conducts himself as a gentleman and treats people as such. Because of the respect people have for him, the weight room at East Union High has been named in his honor. Jim Brown is deserving of being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame.

Joel Tolkheim

Joel Tolkheim

Health Care

A resident of Manteca for the past 44 years, Joel Tokheim has become a widely recognized and honored physical therapist.  After graduating from Manteca High School (1969) and receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Loma Linda University, Joel and his wife, Candace, returned to his hometown to make a difference.

A partner in a Manteca physical therapy practice for the past 33 years, making him the longest-practicing physical therapist in the community, Joel has accepted each of his patients as a new challenge.  He works to help the individual reach the highest level of recovery possible, even to giving spinal cord patients the will to continue to live and achieve new levels of lifestyle.

Joel has received numerous awards and recognition for volunteering health care and advice to schools, organizations and health agencies.  He has long been a fixture on the sidelines of local high school football games, voluntarily serving as the trainer for those schools.  He has also worked with industrial businesses regarding employee safety.

Joel backs up his professional advice on staying active by doing so in his own life.  His hobbies include rock climbing, camping, bicycling and tennis.  He volunteers at his church and enjoys spending quality time with his wife, four children and three grandchildren.

His dedication to his physical therapy practice and the services he has provided to the community has earned him this Hall of Fame induction honor.

Michael W. Atherton

Michael W. Atherton


As a native of Stockton, Mike’s roots in the area go back for generations. His grandfather was Warren Atherton who is known as the “father of the GI Bill of Rights” and as esteemed citizen of the Central Valley area. His great-grand father was Benjamin Holt, inventor of the “Caterpillar Tractor.”

Michael Atherton is a man of vision, drive and determination. It was with those talents that Mike and his partners in AKF Development transformed the shuttered Spreckels Sugar Factory into Spreckels Park, a vibrant retail and light industrial development.

The AKF projects are legends: Springtime Estates, Pulte Homes, Spreckels Park, Atherton Homes Subdivisions are just a few. Mike sold the 50 acres, which is now Woodward Park, to the City of Manteca for only $1. -

Mike is a generous supporter of local charities including: SHARPS, Manteca Historical Society, Manteca/Lathrop Boys & Girls Club, Give Every Child a Chance, Manteca Kiwanis Club and many others.

Mike also build a school and church for the very poor in Jalapa, Nicaragua, where he continues to be the largest employer in the region with his coffee plantation.

Mike, a true friend to all!

Mike Morenzone

Mike Morenzone


Mike Morenzone has been inducted into the Hall of Fame mostly for his teaching and coaching skills. He also has participated in slo-pitch and fast-pitch softball. He coached the East Union High School volleyball and softball teams. He was the junior varsity volleyball coach from 1985-1993 where his teams won 6 league championships and had a combined record of 156-33. He took over the varsity program in 1994 through 2000 and his teams won three league championships and one section championship. His overall record was 105-44. Mike was the varsity softball coach from 1988-2002 where his teams won eight league championships and one section championship. His record was 287-95.

Mike organized his softballs teams and coaches to run a weekend softball clinic for 6th-8th grade players. He oversaw the program while his athletes learned how to teach the younger athletes and it gave the athletes some valuable tips from the high school players. His combined coaching record was 538-172, which is a 75% win total and his teams’ amassed 17 league championships. He was named the league’s Coach of the Year ten times in softball and was also named the Stockton Record and Modesto Bee coach of the year. He left East Union in 2003 to serve as Weston Ranch’s first Athletic Director and helped get their athletic program started in the right direction.

Mike played softball in the city programs both in slo-pitch and fast-pitch. On numerous occasions he was selected all tournament on teams that participated on a national level.

Mike Morenzone is not only an outstanding coach and athlete but is a person of integrity and sincerity. He continues the tradition of people being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame.

Nick DeGroot

Nick DeGroot


Nick DeGroot was a naturalized citizen but was very proud of The United States of America.  He was actively involved in this community and St. Anthony’s Parish.  He could always be counted on to contribute too many events both monetarily and physically. As a member of the Rotary Club, Mr. DeGroot was involved with a number of projects, but he was very proud of his work with “Flags Across America’.

Mr. DeGroot sponsored many youth athletic teams from Manteca, Lathrop and French Camp.  Nick supported the East Union High School and St. Anthony’s School athletic programs.  Nick could always be counted upon to assist where help was needed.

Mr. Nick DeGroot was a shining star in many areas but his brightest achievement had to do with his work as an elected official.  He was elected to the South San Joaquin Irrigation District.  He served for twenty-three years including a term as president.  In this capacity he worked with other board members to insure that the District completed their task to provide water not only for irrigation, but also for drinking water to several communities including Manteca.  To honor Mr. Nick DeGroot, the South County Surface Water Treatment Plant was dedicated and renamed in is honor by the South San Joaquin Irrigation District.  The Nick C. DeGroot Water Treatment Plant is a true testament to his dedication to see a goal achieved.  

Mr. Nick C. DeGroot was a man dedicated to making things better for his family and the people he served as an elected official and as a friend to many.  

All of the above were accomplished as Nick farmed 40 acres of almonds and was involved in other farming activities.  He was a renaissance man who loved to farm.

Robert Sepulveda

Robert Sepulveda


Bio Missing

Stephen F. DeBrum

Stephen F. DeBrum

Community Service

From his high school days as president of the Hanford High Future Farmers of America, through his college years at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, to presently serving his second term on the Manteca City Council, most of Steve DeBrum’s life has been spent serving his community.

After arriving in Manteca in 1984, Steve immediately became involved in his church, the Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis Club and several other activities. He has been a tireless worker in these groups, having served the Kiwanis as president, later being named Super Distinguished Lieutenant Governor of the Cal-Nev-Ha District and named to its Hall of Fame.

Other past presidencies have included those of the Manteca Chamber of Commerce (2002-03) and the Boys and Girls Club of Manteca (2004-05). He is the current president of the Manteca Convention and Visitors Bureau. He is a past board member of the San Joaquin County United Way and the American Heart Association. At present, he serves on the boards of the Manteca Unified Student Trust and the Boys and Girls Club.

For the past 25 years, Steve has been employed as Northern Area Manager for the California Cooperative Creamery/Dairy Farmers of America. He and his wife, Veronica, are parents of two children, with four grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys being an auctioneer, traveling, hunting and being with his family.

Tom & Gayl Wilson

Tom & Gayl Wilson


Stemming from his membership on the Vision 2020 Task Force, a City Council-appointed group to help plan the vision for the future of Manteca, Tom Wilson was joined by his wife, Gayl, to form the Manteca Mural Society.  They had been convinced by their visits to other communities that murals would enhance the appearance of Manteca, which had been their home since 1987.

Tom was the driving force behind getting financial support and securing wall space, while Gayl was the key collaborator in working with muralists and local artists in developing the content of the murals.  Working from the initial fund-raising total of $65,000, a sustainable support fund was assured as the Wilson’s contacted many individuals and groups in Manteca.  This has allowed for more murals to be painted around the downtown area.

Many of the murals have provided an opportunity to add a little more to our community.  Plazas, with benches and fountains, have been added to different mural locations in Manteca.  Children’s murals have given young people a chance to be part of a lasting network.

Tom and Gayl’s connections with service organizations gave them added opportunities to gain support for the murals project.  The success of the Manteca Murals is the direct result of the vision, dedication and commitment of Tom and Gayl Wilson.