DILL Jonathan "Toby"
of Davisburg, passed away Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 69 years of age. Beloved husband of Susan; loving son of Barbara (the late George) Dill, proud father of Danielle (Al) Dill - Palomar, caring brother of Judi Tolliver, Janet (Hank) VanSant, Darlene (Randy) Stoops, many nieces, nephews and his special friend "Moon" the best hunting dog ever, gone but not forgotten.
Toby Dill, Vietnam Vet
U.S. Army, SP4, 1st Air Cav, 8th Engr.
As a combat engineer in Vietnam, Toby operated a backhoe to construct bunkers, command posts and landing zones, often under fire. Many times he depended on his battle buddies to watch his back. He was awarded an air medal for the many times he flew to a new destination.
My life with Toby
Some of you already know this story of how Toby & I came together. When he was in Vietnam in 1967 his buddy sent a letter to Sears asking for a catalog. I happened to be working in the office and received the request. My friends and I decided to send the catalog and five of us wrote letters to the guys. Toby was the only one from Michigan and he and I became pen pals and wrote back and forth until he came home.
When he came home in 1968 he called me and at the time my brother answered the phone and Toby said he lived in Drayton Plains. My brother said where the hell is Drayton Plains? I lived in Detroit and had no idea where this “Drayton Plains” was.
Sounded up north to us which was partly true.
I decided to meet Toby so I got directions from his mom and my girlfriend and I drove to his house. I couldn’t believe how far it was, at least 50 miles, which by today’s standards is just around the corner to go to the mall or dinner.
Well that was the beginning of me and Toby. He asked me to go to a corn roast at his mom’s subdivision lake. First of all I asked what is a corn roast and what is a subdivision.
Remember I live in Detroit. He also mentioned grassers, again I said what? Remember I live in Detroit, we have cement. We met in September, engaged in December, married in June. Talk was I was probably pregnant and the marriage wouldn’t last. Well the pregnancy came 5 years later and here we are 48 years later and when asked Toby would always tell me people I was a mail order bride and he got me from a catalog. Funny to others, not so to me, but that was Toby.
The last few years have been a real struggle for Toby and he fought hard to stay alive. He would say Vietnam didn’t kill him when he was there but would when he came home.
My life with Toby was far from dull. When you say opposites attract that was the case with us. He’s an extrovert, me an introvert. There were no grays with Toby. It was black or white; right or wrong. He was always right, you were always wrong. He had his opinions and you knew what they were, he was never shy in speaking his mind and you knew exactly where he stood. He made friends wherever he went and most people remembered him. Wherever we went somewhere he would run into someone who recognized him. When he made a friend it was a friend for life. He was extremely loyal.
Loved to play the slots, and you would know when he won because it was plastered all over facebook. He was competitive, loved sports, hunting, fishing, his motorcycle and he was pretty good at most of it. He played first base on a softball team and was really good, remember those days Butch Duncan. He loved riding with his MIRG brothers and sisters and it was only after his health started to deteriate that he bought a Trike. He had said he would never get one but he wanted to keep riding.
If anyone ever had the occasion to be with Toby when he drove then you knew you were in for an experience of sorts. Patience was not Toby’s strong suit. I have a poem from my aunt that she wrote about her husband and when I saw it I thought she was talking about Toby. Here are a couple of sentences that pretty well sums up driving with him. “It all begins with traffic jams or a light that lasts too long. We pass bitches, bastards, nuts & jerks, who all but he is wrong. There is also a few other catching phrases he says that can’t be repeated. He always tried to act like a tough guy, definitely set in his ways. At one time I mentioned about thinking outside the box and he said he could do that, I laughed and said no you can’t, you’re the box. I also used to say he was born in the wrong century; he should have been a cowboy or “Dirty Harry” because he would shoot first and then take names later.
Toby & I didn’t agree on most things and didn’t do many things right but the one thing we did agree on and the one thing we did do right is our daughter, Danielle. She is our pride and joy and was certainly Toby’s baby girl. He loved her the minute he saw her and always got excited when she showed an interest in his hobbies; softball-couldn’t wait to buy her cleats; hunting-bought her first gun; fishing –fishing pole, tackle box; Red Wings; if he could have afford it he would have bought her a motorcycle.
He was recognized for his service by Clarkston Junior High in 2015 by placing a stone in his friend’s Jenna Beno’s Memorial Garden.
He worked in the Water Well business for over 48 years and retired from Hartsig Supply.
His affiliations included:
Member of VFW, Post 1008, Waterford
Member of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 0133
American Legion, Post 0063, Clarkston
Proud member of the Michigan Independent Riders Group since 2005
Member of Ducks Unlimited, Clarkston
Well Drillers Association
We have been married 48 years, how we lasted that long is a mystery to me and anyone listening to me and Toby “banter” with each other would wonder the same thing. I can’t explain it and have no clue. The only thing I can say is that it must have meant to be. I loved him when I met him for the first time 48 years ago and will continue to love him till the day I die.
He was a good man with a good heart. He would have love the attention he’s now getting.
He fought till the end, “Bad-ass” that he was.