Thoburn Stiles (1926 - 2013)

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Thoburn Stiles Encinitas, CAThoburn Hine Stiles, 87, devoted husband and father, dedicated community member and longtime Schenectady resident, died peacefully on November 7, 2013, in Encinitas, California, after a long illness. He was devoted to family above all, and greatly enjoyed the company of a wide set of friends. A loyal correspondent, he was conscientious about staying in touch with family and friends, no matter how far-flung. He was devoted to all things of the University of Michigan, especially Michigan football. He was a student of American history and politics and believed in giving back to community, a belief that he put into practice everywhere that he lived. Thoburn Stiles was born in Akron, Ohio on September 5, 1926, the son of Harold Thoburn Stiles and Ruth Adelaide Hine, and brother of Julianne Stiles Bensmiller and David Cecil Stiles, and was raised in Akron and Detroit. He served in the Army from 1944 to 1946, including in the Philippines. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1951, he began working in advertising and sales promotion for General Electric, retiring in 1986 as manager of exhibit operations. He married the former Eleanor Elizabeth Coleman in Charles Town, West Virginia on February 14, 1953. Married for 60 years, they lived nearly 30 years in Schenectady, where they raised a son, John Thoburn Stiles; and daughter, Elizabeth Ann Stiles. They also lived in Forest Hills and Hartsdale, New York, and after retirement in Carlsbad, San Diego and Encinitas, California. Thob was an active, selfless volunteer and donor for causes and organizations in which he believed, including the University of Michigan Alumni Association, the United Way, and the Carlsbad-Oceanside Democratic Club. He helped found the Christ Church Day Care Center in Schenectady, one of the first of its kind dedicated to low-income families. He was also a dedicated volunteer for Episcopal Community Services of San Diego, helping those who needed emergency assistance. He served as president and longtime board member of his professional organization, the Event and Exhibit Marketers Association, and was recently inducted into their Hall of Fame. He was a faithful and active parishioner, including warden and vestryman, of several Episcopal churches, including Christ Church and St. Stephen's in Schenectady, St. Peter's in Del Mar, California, and St. James by the Sea in La Jolla, California. In his last year, his wife, Eleanor and daughter, Elizabeth cared for him attentively. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor; daughter, Elizabeth, grandson, Jack Rooney and son-in-law, Mick Rooney of Stanwood and Sedro Woolley, Washington; son, John and son-in-law, Javier Morillo of Saint Paul, Minnesota; sister, Julianne of Dearborn Heights, Michigan; sister-in-law, Mary Nelson Hoornstra of Savannah, Georgia; cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and friends in many places. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, November 12 at 4 p.m. at St. James by the Sea Episcopal Church at 743 Prospect St., La Jolla, California. The deceased requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be directed to Episcopal Community Services of San Diego.

Published in The Daily Gazette Co. on Nov. 11, 2013
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