The following obituary is reprinted from the Beckett Funeral Home website. It’s the obituary for my aunt’s husband. Sadly I never got to meet him, as they were only married for a few years when he was struck by brain cancer. Many of the following, quite amazing, details are things we never knew about him, because he was a modest man who didn’t brag of his accomplishments. Most of what I knew was that he made my aunt happy, and really, that’s all that was important. I might not have met him, but for that reason I’ll miss him.
Name: Wallace E. Tobin III
Date: July 23rd, 1937 – December 31st, 2006
Wallace “Toby” Emmett Tobin III, passed away peacefully December 31, 2006, after a valiant struggle with brain cancer. Mr. Tobin was born on July 23, 1937 to Wallace E. Tobin II and Elizabeth Lovell Tobin of Vineyard Haven, MA. He graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover ’55, and was a naval R.O.T.C. student at Yale University ’59. He attended Cambridge University on a Clare Fellowship, receiving the M.A. degree, and later received an MBA from the University of New Haven, CT. Tobin served in the U.S. Navy from 1961-1967 on several tours as a navigator of large ships. He concluded his naval duty at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, as a professor of English and as director of the sailing program, which later became the Robert Crowne Sailing Center. After leaving the Navy, he worked as Director of Development at Yale University. From 1974-81 he was manager of Acigraf in Branford, CT. He ended his 30-year business career as an executive with Bear Island Paper Company. From 1971-2001, he published the Mariner’s Pocket Companion, a daily annotated calendar well-known and widely-distributed in the sailing community. An avid and passionate sailor since childhood, he was the youngest amateur to sail in the 1958 America’s Cup defense aboard “Columbia”, with such sailing legends as Olin and Rod Stephens and Halsey Herreshoff. Tobin’s experience catapulted him into sailing in major ocean races – Bermuda and Europe on “Windrose” and “Good News” with Jakob Isbrandtsen, the Admiral’s Cup series with Jakob, followed by another on “Figaro III” with Bill Snaith. He participated in two more America’s Cup races aboard “Intrepid” in 1967 and “Valiant” in 1970. According to his colleagues, his skills as a navigator were unparalleled. Tobin served with great dedication as an overseer of Sea Education Association, contributing his knowledge to the safety of the sailtraining vessels; as a board member of American Friends of Cambridge University; and as a member of the Fales Committee at the U.S. Naval Academy, which supports the sailing program there. He was also an avid supporter of the sailing program at Yale Corinthian Yacht Club. He has been an active sailor with his Hood 37, “Elizabeth”, and since 2001 a McCurdy & Rhodes 46, “Froya”. In retirement, he indulged his passion for sailing by delivering friends’ boats to the Caribbean and back, as well as summer cruising and racing in the Gulf of Maine aboard his cherished Froya. Contributions in Toby’s memory may be made to Sea Education Association, P.O. Box 6, Woods Hole, MA 02543, or Yale Corinthian Yacht Club, c/o Sailing Associates, P.O. Box 208216, New Haven, CT 06520.