Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends

Friday, December 16, 2016

Rest in Peace, Toby McGriff. May the Angels Lead You to Paradise

Toby and Stephanie McGriff

Robert A. "Toby" McGriff, 68, of Moline, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, at Genesis Medical Center, Silvis.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Pius X Church, Rock Island. Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Rafferty Funeral Home, 2111 1st St. A, Moline, with a Christian wake service at 3:30 p.m. Entombment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery, East Moline. A memorial fund has been established.
Toby was born July 27, 1948, in Watervliet, Mich., the son of Robert L. and Ann Lee McGriff. He married Stephanie K. Ybarra on Oct. 25, 1969, in Silvis.
Toby worked as the band director at Grand Ridge Elementary School, Grand Ridge, Ill., and a vice president at the former Ringle Express, Coal Valley. He retired as an admissions and career adviser at Partners in Job Training with Rock Island County.
Toby was a member of the Moline Jaycees, where he served as past president and a state vice president, as well as earning recognition as a United States Jaycee Senator. He was a member of the Bettendorf Park Band, was a former lector at St. Mary's Church, Moline, and a canter and choir member at Sacred Heart Church, Moline. He read for APRIS at WVIK Radio, was an avid Chicago Bears and NASCAR fan and loved his dog, Max.
Survivors include his wife, Stephanie; daughter, Heather Hamilton, Waterloo, Iowa; sister, Beth Ann (Tim) Leaf, Lutz, Fla.; 17 nieces and nephews; and 11 great-nieces and -nephews. He was preceded in death by son-in-law, Mike Hamilton; and sisters, Janet Hoag and Joette McGriff.
Condolences may be left at

When we were planning for the MHS 66 50th Reunion, seeing Toby was #1. My wife and I knew he had been in and out of the hospital and living at Rosewood Care. He told us our dog Sassy would be welcome at Rosewood, so that made it especially fun to take her for the visit. 
My wife and I had a long visit with Toby. We went back to 7th grade band at John Deere, as I recall, and MHS Band for another three years. He met my wife Chris when I took her to a concert at Blackhawk Community College. So Toby was a family friend, for 50 years.
Band friendships were a natural. We had an enormous room where people congregated after school. That bandroom was on the way out to the parking lot, so Toby often gave me a ride home, even when I forgot about driving my father's car to school. When I remembered, halfway home, Toby frowned and turned  around his little Corvair. He was great about it, but questioned me closely after that, when I needed a ride. "Are you sure you didn't drive today?"
Doubtless all of us have pleasant memories of Toby, always cheerful, enduring incredible suffering with his health problems, infections, and surgeries. Apart from relating some facts, nothing in his conversation suggested that his life was something other than ordinary. He loved to talk about his family and dog. It was difficult to leave.
 Toby is sitting in front of the tubas.

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