A celebration of life for Roy Dronkers Friday was just the kind of boisterous, fun-loving event the popular Pleasanton Realtor would have championed himself for a favorite friend.
More than 500 well-wishers--no one wanted to be called a mourner--packed Tommy T's, the Hopyard Road comedy club where Mr. Dronkers used to lead his Friday morning meetings of the Valley Real Estate Network for years.
He chose Tommy T's, his friend Realtor Will Doerlich told those at the service, because it has a stage and all of the electronics including big-screen TVs to conduct the kinds of theatrical-like meetings he hosted as the organization's president.
Friday afternon, Doerlich, who is now the organization's president, stood on the stage at Tommy T's where the meetings are still held, to preside over the upbeat celebration. Mr. Dronkers' large and extended family filled two rows of tables, applauding as speaker after speaker came to the lectern to praise Mr. Dronkers' leadership as a top Realtor in the Tri-Valley.
Entertainment was provided by a singing and guitar-playing ensemble of the real estate group's members that included Don Cruz, Prudential California Real Estate; Doug Buenz, Alain Pinel Realtors; Dave Stark, Bay East Association of Realtors, and Chris Scoville, Chandler Ham Roofing, who is the group's co-sergeant-at-arms.
Mr. Dronkers was a 1972 graduate of Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, where he was born. He was an award-winning business leader who was active in a number of professional and civic organizations.
He held a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from California State University, East Bay. He worked with the Clorox Corporation before beginning his career in real estate in 1986 in Pleasanton.
Just a year ago, he was honored with a Legacy award by the Tri-Valley YMCA at that organization's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast. As the past co-chair of Operation Care, Mr. Dronkers also was an active member of both the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce and the Pleasanton Downtown Association.
A Realtor with Keller Williams Tri-Valley Realty and more recently with Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate in Pleasanton, Mr. Dronkers also was a member of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton, a past board member of the Bay East Association of Realtors and a founder of an annual Realtor charity fundraiser that has raised more than $200,000 for Tri-Valley agencies since 2007, including the Pleasanton Weekly's annual Holiday Fund.
Doerlich pointed out that it was Mr. Dronkers' unabashed enthusiasm for helping others that inspired the dedication of funds raised at the realty group's annual Christmas party to go to the Holiday Fund.
Messages of grief and condolences included these:
Realtor Bob Shapiro:
"Having been a long time friend and mentor for Roy, I am saddened by this tragic loss. Roy was a true humanitarian. As president of the Valley Marketing Association, now VREN, he was instrumental in raising around $200,000 for the Tri-Valley Community Fund. He was a caring individual who always lent a helping hand to those who needed it. To me, he epitomized sincere community involvement and friendship. He will be missed by the community, realtors, clients and family.
Gary Alt, president, Rotary Club of Pleasanton:
"I am saddened that Roy Dronkers, a former member of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton, passed away Friday. Roy served the Pleasanton community in many ways over many years. We will remember Roy for his friendly smile, warm handshake and his genuine love for everyone."
Realtor Chris Miller, founder of Pleasanton Military Families Support Group:
"Roy Dronkers was an awesome guy who supported the Pleasanton Military Families Support Group many, many times. In his leadership role of the marketing group of mostly Pleasanton Realtors, they raised thousands of dollars from the early days of our existence and onward. He was the driving force in that role. This group led by him helped our pack-outs and our needs to support financially our troops and families in many, many ways. I do hope that he will now join up with his father now up in heaven who was a POW in World War II."
Realtor Will Doerlich, president of the Valley Real Estate Network:
"We are truly saddened with the passing of our friend and colleague Roy Dronkers. Roy was an integral part of the growth and success of the Valley Real Estate Network over the last 10 years. We worked together, laughed together, and grew together. He served both his clients and his profession well. He will be missed."
Pat Frizzell, Pleasanton Military Families:
"Early on in the formation of Pleasanton Military Families, this gentleman and other Realtors helped to raise funds for us and helped make the community aware of just how many sons and daughters of Pleasanton were serving in the military. (Their) funds helped replace a broken heater for a family when their dad was deployed and also, purchased a laptop computer for one of our PMF mom's that had Lou Gehrig's disease and could no longer speak. Thank you to Roy. You will be missed."
Mr. Dronkers' family has requested that flowers, cards and condolences be sent in care of Ron Dronkers, 370 Oak Lane, Pleasanton, CA 94566.