Dr. Gary Howard Toops
Downing & Lahey Mortuaries & Crematory - East Wichita
Wichita, KS
Toops, Dr. Gary Howard, 59, Professor of Russian Languages at Wichita State University, died Monday, October 14, 2013. Memorial Service will be at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, October 26, 2013, at Grace Memorial Chapel at Wichita State University. He was born March 30, 1954 the first born of Howard Parsons Toops and Emma Portner Toops in Fr. Eustis, VA. He was a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Canada and earned his PhD in Russian and Slavic Literature from Yale in 1985. He received his formal training in Russian at the Leningrad (i.e. St. Petersburg) Moscow and Petrozavodsk State Universities. He had been teaching at Wichita State University since 1989. Gary was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Connie Toops-Walker on August 11, 2013. Survived by: siblings, Daniella Toops-Jones of Hamilton, IL, Tony William Toops of Wayland, MO and Ronald Warren Toops of Newport News, VA; one niece, Amber M. Tripp of Donnellson, IA; nephews, Brent Tripp of Belleville, IL, Seth Elder of Kansas City, MO, and Trenton Toops of Wayland, MO. Gary was also survived by aunts, uncles and cousins, especially Lenelle Freeman of Austin, TX and Glenda Nelson of Portland, OR. A memorial has been established with: Wichita State University, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, 1845 Fairmount St., Wichita, KS 67260. Downing & Lahey Mortuary East. Share tributes online at: www.dlwichita.com

Published by Wichita Eagle on Oct. 20, 2013.
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13 Entries
Gary, we lost touch decades ago. But in going through possessions while downsizing, I came across a change-of-address card, and I decided to look you up. Sadly, I found you'd changed address again, to one where I can't reach you. Had I been able to contact you in person, I would have said thanks for your friendship in a time when I was undergoing a dramatic change in my life. And I would have thanked you for the incredible favor you did for me in Luxembourg, helping me to locate someone I was desperate to reach. I will relate that tale in my memoirs. Thanks!
Ralph Bolton
May 24, 2020
Dr. Toops. Gary. Wow, he had a real impact on my life and life experiences, and I owe a lot to him. One of the most challenging and difficult professors I ever had, but because of his demand for excellence and (near) perfection in my Russian studies, I can say I lived in Russia and beyond, and am proud to have called him my professor and later, a friend. I am a better person because of Gary Toops.
Ben Koker
May 15, 2014
Truly very sorry. Too long time ago we met last time, yet memorable.
Ivana Bozdechova, Prague
December 19, 2013
I'm sorry to hear of the death, so young, of a fellow Slavic linguist and language teacher. I knew him only from occasional conferences, but liked and respected him.
Catherine Rudin
November 8, 2013
Remember some good times with that dude...RIP my friend!!
Tom Jones
November 6, 2013
Dr. Toops changed my life. He kept me motivated and in school during a very hard time in my life, and he never expected less from me or treated me like I was his inferior. He went out of his way to make sure I had every opportunity to succeed in all 7 classes I took from him. I loved his sense of humor, his blazing intellect, and his demand for excellence from any and all students. It is so wonderful to find a teacher who thinks enough of you to push you to reach farther and strive harder than you ever have before. He nurtured my love of learning and sometimes took me more seriously than I took myself. I will always be thankful for the things he tought me. I only wish I had known how blessed I was at the time I had him as an instructor. I looked forward to class with him every day, but I could have been more appreciative and I thought nothing of taking him for granted at that time.
Emily Schlenker
November 5, 2013
Without a doubt the most talented and knowledable professor I have ever had.Thanks to you I learned a great deal of Russian. Thanks to you I was able to get into graduate school.LarryThank you for everything Dr.Toops.
Larry Burks II
November 5, 2013
A remarkable linguist, and an interesting conversationalist: your expertise was highly valued, and your intellect will be missed.G?????????? ?????????????? ? ???? ???????? ????.
Maria Akrabova
October 26, 2013
I was in your first class at WSU on your first day. I never looked back. You were great and I would never have completed a minor in Russian if not for you. I treasured your friendship and your sense of humor still makes me smile. I will miss you. God bless.
Douglas Simpson
October 23, 2013
Your labors and works are complete. We salute you, today, as one of the most accomplished scholars in the university and an expert of world renown in your discipline. We'll have much more to say on Saturday, at the memorial in Grace Chapel.
Wilson Baldridge
October 22, 2013
We always admired your accomplishments and we loved our visits with you. We especially remember our visit with you in Wichita and how you showed us around the campus. We loved you and you will be missed.
Paul & Eleanor Toops
October 21, 2013
Your intelligence and master of languages amazed me. You never made me feel less smart, and you were entirely too humble when I complimented you. I loved sharing a birthday with you, and was so touched that you chose to be a part of our family traditions. You will be very missed! Your cousin, Lenelle
Lenelle Freeman
October 20, 2013
You were an amazing teacher. I am sad that I was not able to share my study abroad in Saint Petersburg with you, and that I won't get to take your class when I return to Wichita.
Lauren Mozley
October 20, 2013
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