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Schuylkill County Obituaries

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ John Tobias, 87 – Once Worked as a Bootleg Miner

John Franklin Tobias, 87, passed away peacefully Tuesday May 19, 2020 at Premier at Susquehanna in Millersburg where he was a resident for two years.

β€œToby” was born August 12, 1932 in Gowen City, the second son of Ira Sylvester and Edna Pauline (Oxenrider) Tobias. On March 19, 1955 he married Myrna Loy Dobson in Hagerstown Maryland.

He attended Pine Park School in Leck Kill and was a 1950 graduate of Mahanoy Joint High School, Dalmatia. One project in high school included raising a piglet and entering it in the Farm Show competition. Having not completed the paperwork required, Toby and his buddy Glenn Masser, made up the information on the drive to Harrisburg. Since it was quite a distance they stayed overnight and slept in the pig stalls with their entries. Toby was proud of his pigs last place finish at the Farm Show.

He enlisted in the United States Air Force the day after his high school graduation and served four years, being honorably discharged from Limestone Air Force Base in Maine. He had to hitch hike home to Pennsylvania and was lucky to get rides that brought him home in just one day. As a veteran he served American Legion Post 504 as a member of the Honor Guard and was also a member of Gratz VFW Post 2385.

Toby’s early work history was very colorful, including working as a bootleg miner along side his father and older brother, Merl. One of his tasks at the mine was to get Jack, the mule, to go down into the mine. Jack did not like his ears to touch the top of the shaft and had to be coaxed.

In 1960, Toby and Myrna relocated to Iroquois Road in Levittown PA. with their two oldest daughters, where they lived for ten years before moving back to Leck Kill. While living in Levittown he worked for Standard Press Steel in Jenkintown. After returning to Leck Kill he retired from Gilford Mills, Pine Grove.

He was a member of Christ E & R Church, Leck Kill. Also, Alvin E Long Post 504 America Legion, Herndon; Diamond Jubilee VFW Post 2385, Gratz, lifetime member of the Herndon Fire Company and the Erdman Sportsmens Club.

Surviving are daughters and sons-in-law Roxie and Chuck Rothermel, Herndon; Patty and Bill Leeser, Pillow and Mary Anne Troutman, Red Cross. Grandchildren Steven Rothermel, Chris Leeser, Sheri and Jarrod Shadle, Mitchell Troutman and Cody Troutman. Also, great-grandchildren Angel, Caleb, Kayleigh, Zandra and Kinsley. His siblings Martha (Robert) Erdman, Herndon, Mary Snyder, Dornsife and Marvin (Brenda) Tobias, Pitman.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by Myrna, his wife of 38 years and his granddaughter Bethany (his Tater) Troutman. Also, brother Merl Tobias and sister Betty Paul.

Services will be private at the convenience of the family. Internment will be at St. John’s Cemetery, Leck Kill.

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