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William Tosh

Bill Tosh, avid golfer, voracious reader, advocate for social justice, and an inspiration to students for many years, died Wednesday, November 13, 2013, just shy of his 73rd birthday. Born into a poor neighborhood of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Bill was the oldest of 9 children. At 17, a time when many of Bill's peers amused themselves with drinking and fighting, Bill joined the Navy. Serving on an aircraft carrier, Bill supervised a group handling nuclear weapons while on-ship, and learned first-hand about the world off-ship. A fellow crew-mate passed along a book set in Bill's hometown, which inspired in Bill a life-long love of reading. Upon discharge, Bill attended El Camino College in Long Beach, California. There he was a leader of Students For A Democratic Society (SDS), which protested against the Vietnam War and for civil rights. This earned him an FBI file, of which he was proud. Bill furthered his education at University of Washington and Colorado University, and began a 27 year career teaching English literature at Centaurus High School in Lafayette, Colorado. Bill's favorite author was Hemingway, a fact not lost on his students who sometimes noted the two men's physical resemblance and liked to imagine that Mr. Tosh was actually Hemingway in secret retirement. Though quiet by nature, Bill never hesitated to speak up for progressive causes. Nevertheless he was well-liked and respected by people from all political views. He also loved a good story, and had more than a few of his own. Bill loved fishing, single malt Scotch, his mother-in-law's (Mother Scott) meatloaf, and trips to Ireland with his wife Marie. Retirement allowed him to pursue golf, a passion he had besides reading. Usually golfing four days a week, Bill was a past member of Fox Hill in Longmont and a current member of Lake Valley Golf Club. He was also a member of book, poker, and wine tasting groups. In June 2013, Bill noticed that his golf game was not up to par; this was the first sign that he had glioblastoma multiforme, a primary and incurable brain tumor. Survivors include many friends from his groups, students whose lives he touched, his wife Marie, his mother-in-law, siblings, siblings-in-law, and many nieces and nephews. No services are planned at this time.


Published in The Boulder Daily Camera on Nov. 15, 2013
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