An Original

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.

6 Responses to “An Original”

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  1. Judy says:

    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.

  2. The Dennis-Justice family says:

    Uncle Toby was a special man. He could make anyone feel at ease in just minutes. As one of the younger nieces I recall being a bit scared of him, likely because when we were around his sons, my cousins we were likely getting too rambunctious or loud. It did not take me long to recognize he was a loving and funny man, he always knew just what to say to elicit laughter. Introducing my family to my now husband was a bit nerve wracking but Uncle Toby formed a special friendship with my hubby that I loved seeing. Love that man to bits and will dearly miss him.

  3. Molly Oldham says:

    I first met Pops 5 years ago when I started dating Todd. He was always nice to me. Sometimes he would be a little sassy but would turn and give me a wink showing his softer side. Todd always said Pops made the best meatloaf. I’ve made it many times over the years but never got the flavor of his. The first Thanksgiving together he made the Turkey and I brought the pies and the green bean casserole. He said it brought him back to his childhood when his Aunt would make it. The compliment made me smile as Todd would always say what a good cook he was. My first Grandson and him share the same birthday. That tells you how extra special he was. He will be missed.

  4. The Newmans says:

    Lenny & I think the world of Toby. He was always welcoming and made you smile. Lenny especially enjoyed playing horseshoes with him. I miss seeing him in Bi-Mart or Safeway, which for many years I did almost every week, he ALWAYS made me smile. I miss him walking by the TV on Fridays when Judy & I are watching Y&R, waving his hand at the TV and saying “shmuck” I guess you had to be there, Judy & I laughed every time! Lenny & I are thankful to have been blessed with the friendship of this wonderful man. He left us with memories we will cherish. Thank You Toby! We love & miss you!

  5. Laurie Justice Walsh says:

    I am very grateful to have gotten to know Tobey. A social and active man, transitioning from leaving the work force and then developing health issues could not have been easy. I never heard him speak of his frustration, but i noticed his activity level and conversations changed. He always greeted me with a smile and he never turned down a hug, but the biggest and brightest smile appeared when “Tanner” was mentioned. I appreciated his sense of humor and his generosity. I will miss seeing him in his brown chair, hair all neatly combed, cleanly shaved, and smelling nicely of cologne. I will hold close the memories I have of him, before illness took his fighting spirit.

  6. Ken and Barbel Justice says:

    Our hearts and minds will remember uncle Toby as a happy go lucky guy, that if you needed help, would
    never say no. He loved doing things, like picking wild blackberries and drinking beer along with winning
    the local horseshoe pitching tournement. The last time we got to visit, Toby even let use
    his beloved Pick-up to haul a few things. Normaly, nobody ever got his truck.
    We will miss Toby.

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