Thomas Meredith

Thomas "Toby" H. Meredith

Thomas "Toby" Harland Meredith, age 71 of Cecil, formerly of Appleton, passed away Sunday, January 20, 2013 after a 14-year battle with cancer. Though he struggled with cancer, he continued to live a full life pursuing his many interests and enjoying his home on Shawano Lake. Toby was born February 21, 1941 in Appleton, the only child of the late Francis "Tom" and Ethel (Riehl) Meredith. He lived on a farm in Shiocton until the third grade when the family moved to Appleton. Graduating from Appleton West High School in 1959, Toby received All Conference honors in football. On June 8, 1963 Toby was united in marriage to Gail Reffke with whom he looked forward to celebrating 50 years of marriage this year. In 1960 he began working for the Wisconsin Telephone Company as a lineman and worked his way into management. With divestiture, he transferred to AT&T, retiring December 31, 1989. Never one to stand still for long, he became a founding partner in Wire Technologies, Inc., a communications company, on January 1, 1990. With his hard work and likable nature, the company prospered. He retired from Wire Technologies in 2000. Toby was proud to have earned his pilot's license. He loved all sports both as a player and a fan. In the 60's and 70's he played fast pitch softball for Pond Sport Shop, Maritime, Bleiers and Jack's Rosehill. He was well known for his talent as a catcher. As his sons grew, he enjoyed coaching them in their sports activities. He was an avid snowmobiler, boater, ATVer and golfer. Toby had a special fondness for animals particularly his Dobermans. Since his retirement, he loved playing Sheepshead with the North Shore group and the Riehl cousins. Monthly meetings with his high school friends, The Magnificent Seven, were filled with great stories and tales of their youth. Restoring a 1941 Chevy pickup and a 1962 F85 Oldsmobile became labors of love. Toby was a true people person. He loved his family and spending time with his grandchildren. He could walk into a room of people as a stranger, but when he left, he left as a friend. He was a generous and honest man who was always willing to lend a helping hand to others. He was often the "life of the party" and his family and friends will all have special memories of good times and laughter with Toby.

Toby will be deeply missed by: his wife, Gail; his sons, Tim (Lisa) and Steve (Deborah); his grandchildren, Jordan, Chase, Kyler, Kasey, Kally, Karly; brother-in-law, Wayne Reffke; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bill and Pam Neubauer; niece, Becca (Gabe) and his Godchild, Lindsay. He is further survived by: an aunt, Grace Krabbe; uncle, Arthur Krause; and many cousins and friends including Bob Henning, Toby's boyhood friend since the 3rd grade, whom he thought of as a brother.

Toby was preceded in death by: his parents; parents-in-law, Harry and Dolly Reffke; sister-in-law, Marj Prokop; and several aunts and uncles.

A celebration of Toby's life will be held at the Zion Lutheran Church, 1254 S. Union Street, Shawano, where he was a member and served as usher and committee member, on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 11:00am. Friends may call at the church on Thursday from 9:00am until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established at the AMC Foundation, the Kathleen A. Defferding Fund, 1818 N. Meade Street, Appleton, WI 54911. Please make checks payable to AMC and place Toby's name in the memo. Swedberg Funeral Home in Shawano is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on Jan. 22, 2013