Ronald Neil Toliver, the son of Lloyd and Yvonne (Briner) Toliver, was born Feb. 18, 1937, in Churdan, and departed this life on July 29 at the Greene County Medical Center.
He lived his life to the age of 82 years, five months and 11 days.
Ron graduated from Churdan High School in 1955. He spent three years in the U.S. Army, and then went to Sioux Falls College, where he graduated with a degree in education.
On Aug. 22, 1964, Ron was united in marriage to Teena Fenenga in Gregory, S.D. Three children were born to this union.
In 1969, Ron received his masters of education from South Dakota State University and later received a specialist degree from Iowa State University. He taught school and coached athletics in Humboldt, S.D., Brandon Valley, S.D., Cedar Valley School District, Central Lyon School District, Paton-Churdan School District and the Elkhorn-Kimballton School.
In the early 1970s, Ron and Teena purchased an acreage north of Churdan where they made their home and raised their family. Ron also engaged in farming.
Ron was a member of the First Baptist Church in Churdan and also a member of the Churdan American Legion and the Greene County Historical Society.
Ron marched to his own drummer. He loved kids and teaching and really believed that each student he knew could achieve whatever they were willing to work for. Not particularly interested in being a student himself, he believed in learning and he kept going forward in education until he received a masters degree in administration.
He loved buying and selling and while making a profit was always the goal, he was not particularly upset when that did not happen. He started auctioneering while at college and continued into his 70s. He loved the sale barn, the auction house, tag sales, machinery sales and any other place that he thought something was a good buy or just interesting.
He loved to fish and spent many happy hours with his family doing just that. He loved the Chicago Cubs and watched every game he could find on TV. He would ask Pastor Bobby to pray for the Cubs, and when they won the World Series, he thought that might have been part of it.
He and Teena traveled down some historical trails, such as Sherman’s March to the Sea, and the Chisholm Trail Cattle Drive, and any other place that was tied into history.
The Churdan Coffee Club, where fiction became fact, was high on his list of “must dos.” He loved his country and with the help of the community, the Freedom Park became a reality.
Ron was loved by his wife, respected by his children and adored by his grandchildren. He, in turn, loved them all and tried to make certain that they knew. Uncle Ronnie and dad stories will continue through several generations, so perhaps it is not a bad idea to carry your own drum.
Ron is survived by his wife, Teena, three children and their families: Ronell Lynne Robinson, of Aurora, Ill., and her children Paige and Payton; David Toliver and his wife, Jennifer, of Waukee, and their children Jessica and Chase; Jess Toliver and his wife, Tiffini, of Eagle Grove, and their children Kayce, Jack, Gabe and Isom Toliver; stepdaughters Michelle Mericle and Allison Mai; and three sisters: Joanne Legore, Jeanne Wiederin and Janice (Charles) Paup, all of Churdan.
Those who preceded him in death were his parents; mother and father-in-law, Don and Esther Fenenga; brothers-in-law Darrell Legore and Martin Wiederin; and nephew Brent Lindgren.
Funeral services were held Aug. 2 at the First Baptist Church in Churdan with Pastor Bobby Palmer officiating.
Burial with full military honors by the Camp Dodge Honor Guard and the Churdan American Legion was made in the Highland Twp. Cemetery in Churdan.
A musical selection, “On Eagles Wings,” was sung by Amanda Helms and accompanied by organist Rochelle Guess-Fagg and pianist Renaye Lindgren, and a recording of “Midnight Cry” was played.
Serving as casket bearers were Cody Paup, Chance Paup, Chase Toliver, Rob Fenenga, Jay Pease and Pat Fay.
Honorary bearers were Dennis Fay and members of the Churdan Coffee Club, Pat Fitzpatrick and Tom Kinnan.
Friends and family were invited to a time of lunch and fellowship at the Baptist Church following graveside services.
Memorials are suggested to be given to the Freedom or the Churdan Park Playground fund.
Brown Funeral Home assisted the family.