Thomas H. “Toby” Tyler
Date Of Birth: 09/05/1943
Date of Death: 02/01/2023
“Tommy” as his Michigan family called him, was born in Monroe, MI and for his first twelve years was raised on his maternal grandparent’s acreage. Growing up with his sister and 3 cousins, he was surrounded by family and participated in farming. There he was a member of the Boy Scouts and developed his love of sports, particularly baseball and the Detroit Tigers.
When his mother remarried, the family moved to Taylor Township, where he gained a brother. He attended Taylor High, participating in baseball, later graduating in 1961.
He was employed as a drill press operator after graduating, then enlisted in the Army in November of 1962. After basic training he joined 11th Army Cav, Regensburg, Germany.
He joined the company softball team and received the nickname “Toby” that he obviously liked as he would use it the remainder of his life.
A historical moment where everyone remembers where and what they were doing, in November 1963 Toby was walking guard on the Czechoslovakian border when President Kennedy was killed.
The regiment returned to their home at Ft George G. Meade, Maryland, in September 1964. There Toby met and married Judy, in his regimental chapel. After their first son Tom was born, Toby decided not to re-enlist and was honorably discharged Nov. 1965.
The family went home to Taylor, but moved to Oregon after 7 short weeks: on to the next adventure.
In Oregon the family added their second son, Todd. Though hoping this was permanent, when lay-offs occurred an opportunity came about with Willamette Iron & Steel in Louisiana; another adventure. However, for many reasons, the opportunity to move to California for employment was the best option to get closer to Oregon.
As time passed and the boys were in school, participating in an athletic association and dad able to play softball year around, the family stayed in California 23 years.
Sons raised, on their own paths. Time to “adventure” home to Oregon.
Toby became a warehouse manager, eventually working for Advantage Sales and Marketing, which turned out to be the most enjoyable work of his life. He enjoyed the work and the folks he worked with that became friends so much so that he worked 3+ years past retirement age. After retirement he often would call to check up on co-workers.
With his softball days behind him, he found horseshoe tournaments and bowling were other sports requiring similar skills of precision and throwing.
Wallowa County was a special place to him. Had he been independently wealthy he would have moved there.
Toby is survived by his wife Judy, sons Tom & Todd, grandson Tanner and his mother Amanda Kitchen, and brother-in-laws Jim Justice, Dale Lockhart, and sister-in-law Celia Justice, 10 nieces & nephews and 20+ great and great great nephews & nieces.
“Tommy’s” Michigan Survivors, (he will always be Tommy to them), are special cousin Kathryn “Katie” Patterson, her children and grandchildren, niece Sandy Mancos and family and Aunt Mary Fountain, not to mention numerous younger cousins he never got to know.
Predeceased by his mother Alice, sister Judy, brother Michael, step-father Mike Coughlin and aunts Anne Thorn, Blanche Fountain, and Uncles Gene, Burt, Rudy, Robert Fountain and niece Sherry Roberts, as well as cousins Karon and Kenny Thorn.
Toby has left his mark, in hearts and minds of many family members, friends, acquaintances.This includes softball players, horseshoe players, grocery store clerks, and of course co-workers. He never met a dog he didn’t like. Cats he said could be picky, but some he got to know.
His Sons, made him proud for the men they became, he said “in spite of me”.
He lived life with all the parts of good, bad, and the ugly. He is remembered and missed and loved.