Ralph J. (R.J.) Toland III, (Petty Officer 2nd Class)

Petty Officer 2nd Class Ralph J. (R.J.) Toland, III, age 25, passed away on Friday, March 22, 2013, after being involved in a motorcycle accident in Virginia Beach, Va. He was born on June 2, 1987, at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Oscoda, Mich. R.J. was a 2005 graduate of McDowell High School and Erie County Technical School. He enlisted in the US Navy in April of 2006. R.J. was the son of Ralph J. Toland, Jr. and Shelley L. (Pflugh) Toland, of Erie. R.J. was an Aviation Electronics Technician Petty Officer 2nd Class whom served honorably in the United States Navy. He was currently stationed at Fleet Readiness Command Mid-Atlantic-Oceana Naval Air Station, Virginia Beach, Va. His previous assignments included Naval Training Command Great Lakes, Ill., Aviation Electronics Technician "A" school in Pensacola, Fla., Advanced Aviation Electronics Technician "C" school in Virginia Beach, Va., followed by his first sea command Fleet Readiness Center Whidbey Island, Wash. Then he transferred to Search & Rescue Command, also Whidbey Island, where he served onboard the USS Nimitz CVN-68. R.J.'s achievements included earning his Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist Insignia, also receiving the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, 2 Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment and Marksman Pistol Ribbons. He also was initiated into the Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep on February 13, 2010, thus becoming an Honorary Shellback. R.J. enjoyed computers and computer gaming, BMX and mountain biking, snowboarding, classic cars and trucks, bowling, good cigars, motorcycles, and he loved the Pittsburgh Steelers, but his pride and joy was the 1969 Orange (his favorite color) Chevy Truck that he and his father worked on together. Besides his parents, R.J. is survived by his loving wife, Petty Officer 1st Class Kristin (Randolph), a sister, Davina Toland, of Erie, and a brother, Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek A. Toland, currently stationed in Jacksonville, Fla., also of the US Navy, his grandmother, Janet Toland, of Erie, grandparents, Dave and Pat Pflugh of Vandergrift, Pa., also many aunts, uncles, and cousins. R.J. was preceded in death by his grandfather, Ralph J. Toland, Sr., in Feb. of 2013. Friends may call at the Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 4216 Sterrettania Rd. on Monday, from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A service will be held at the funeral home on April 2nd at 11:00 a.m. with full military honors. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held following the ceremony at the American Legion Post on West 12th Street after the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family in care of the funeral home.

Funeral Home

Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home
4216 Sterrettania Road Erie, PA 16506
(814) 838-7656

Published in the Erie Times-News on Mar. 30, 2013