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Ralph J. Toland Sr.

Ralph J. Toland, Sr., age 80, passed away on Thursday, February 21, 2013 peacefully at home with his loving family and buddy, Skeeder, at his side, after a brief battle with cancer. He was born in Erie on July 13, 1932, the son of the late, Joseph and Laura (Gable) Toland. He was a life-long resident of Erie. Ralph worked for 38 years as a mechanic at the U.S. Postal Service, where he retired in 1990. After that, Ralph worked for Hertz Car Rental in Erie as a lot attendant until 2012 to keep busy. Ralph enjoyed bowling for many, many years. He also enjoyed playing cards, family, and working around the house. Ralph (with the help of his son) took care of the grass on the bluffs in front of his residence for 30+ years. Family picnics and gatherings were always a big part of his life. One of Ralph's proudest moments was bowling with his son when he rolled his first 300 game. Ralph was also an avid Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers fan and enjoyed attending and watching games with his family. Ralph is survived by his loving wife, Janet (Merkel), of 52 years; his son, Ralph J. Toland, Jr. and his wife, Shelley, of Erie; his sisters, Irene Szybowski and Shirley Bates, of Erie; his grandson, Petty Officer 2nd Class R.J. Toland III, and wife, Petty Officer 1st Class Kristin Toland, currently stationed in Virginia Beach, Va., both of the U.S. Navy; granddaughter, Davina B. Toland, of Erie; and grandson, Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek A. Toland, currently stationed in Jacksonville, Fla., also of the U.S. Navy. Ralph was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Cindy Lou Toland; his sisters, Dorothy Mae Toland, Florence Parker, Sylvia Keiper, and Betty Jane Gregor; and sister-in-law, June Merkel. Friends may call at the Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 4216 Sterrettania Rd. on Sunday from 4 p.m. until time of a brief ceremony at 8:00 p.m. conducted by Sonny Concepcion. Private interment. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family in care of the funeral home.


Published in the Erie Times-News on Feb. 23, 2013
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