Walter (Walt) Stoddard Tobin passed away peacefully on March 1, 2023 in Sonoma at the age of 94. Walt was born in Detroit, Michigan, to former Sonoma resident Walter W. Tobin, and Mary Minetta Stoddard on January 29, 1929. He is predeceased by his loving wife of 61 years, Elaine Frances Sullivan, and sister Dorothy (Tobin) Swann. He is survived by his six children: Thomas (Karen) Tobin, Margaret (Graham) Martin, Maureen (John) Herr, Mary (Hal) Kroeger, Sheila (Ken, dec.) Miller, William Tobin, sixteen grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Walt grew up near his maternal grandparent’s farm on Lake Fenton, Michigan. After graduating from Fenton High School, he attended the University of Detroit until his studies were interrupted when he was drafted into military service. Walt honorably served as First Sergeant with the U.S. Eighth Army, 19th Ordnance at the front lines of the Korean War from 1951 to 1953. Following his foreign military service Walt returned to Michigan, married, started his family, continued his education at the University of Detroit under the G.I. Bill, graduating with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1959. Following graduation, Walt worked as a sales executive for the Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company, a career that spanned over 30 years taking him to Chicago, San Francisco, and Cincinnati until his retirement in 1990. The Bechtel development of the Alaska Pipeline and the need to manage his company’s interest there and in the western region brought him to Northern California, where his father was born. Walt and his family moved to Los Altos where his children continued their education. Walt and Elaine retired in Sonoma in 1990 as one of the early residents of Creekside Village where he served as a board member and on several committees. Walt was a center of a great social life, often introducing new neighbors, bringing people together with his stories, and regaling on his Irish roots. He and Elaine enjoyed participating in bridge groups and entertaining friends and family from around the country. Walt especially enjoyed taking his grandchildren to the clubhouse, tennis courts, the pool, walks along the nature paths, the Chocolate Cow and Train Town.
Walt’s life will be honored with a service at St. Francis Solano Church, 469 3rd St W, Sonoma, CA 95476) on Friday, March 17, 2010 at 11:00 AM, followed by a reception to be announced at the service. A private interment will take place on March 20, 2023 at St. Francis Solano Cemetery. The family is also grateful for the wonderful care given by his doctors, and the medical and nursing staff at the Skilled Nursing Center in Sonoma Valley Hospital. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Walt’s honor to a charity of your choice.
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