Richard Joseph Toft
7/14/1940 – 5/4/2021
After a rough battle with esophageal cancer, our father passed away on May 4th peacefully at home, surrounded by his family. Daughter Marie was by his side and a Celtic rendition of Amazing Grace had just finished playing. We were fortunate to be able to keep him at home, set up in the living room with a view of the Harbor, Mt. Baker, and all his birds flying by and visiting his bird feeders he religiously kept filled. Even in his final weeks he would make sure we had the right suet on hand and, while he still could, he walked out carefully with granddaughter Bailey to refill them.
We couldn't have asked for a better farewell. On this beautiful day, we were able to honor him amongst his plants and birds. Daughter Maddy and best shipmate Dave Williams sent him off with a touching final salute, while our Hawk Henry soared overhead. Shortly after they drove him away, an EA-18G Growler did a low flyover, as if on cue.
The service will be held on July 17th on Whidbey Island. It will consist of a formal Catholic mass beginning at 10am at St. Augustine’s in Oak Harbor and will be streamed live for those out of town. Following the mass, we will hold a graveside service around 1:00pm at Sunnyside Cemetery in Coupeville where we will give a eulogy, hear from others, and share some of his favorite music. You can attend either or both (Catholic mass limited to 110 people and will run one full hour).
The outpouring of love and support from those near and far has been heartwarming. We have loved to hear the stories from many of their memories with him, this amazing man who lived a full life, giving to his country and his community with a quiet humility, and making us smile with his quick wit. Thank you to all.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to one of these two organizations that were important to Dick.
Whidbey & Camano Island Land Trust:
The mission of the Whidbey Camano Land Trust is to actively involve the community in protecting, restoring, and appreciating the important natural habitats and resource lands that support the diversity of life on our islands and in the waters of Puget Sound.
Button to donate at the top of page
Oak Harbor Rotary: Dick was heavily involved in this organization through scholarship selection, music, selling fireworks to raise money, pancake breakfasts, etc.
Donation Page: https://www.ohrotary.org/sitepage/foundation-donations