Edgar LeRoy Tohill, 75, passed away Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, doing something he loved. He had a passion for traveling and visiting places he had never seen. God called him home on the open road in a beautiful part of the United States near Buffalo, Wyo. Edgar had always wanted to see the Northwest and he had looked forward to this trip.
Edgar came from humble beginnings with a strong sense of family, commitment and an appreciation for life. He had many sayings that really defined how he lived his life. Edgar believed “can’t” was not a word, thought you should do what made you happy because life was too short, and always tried to see the positive in life. He was fair, honest, meticulous and thoughtful about whatever he decided to do.
Born on March 19, 1940, to George and Balbina Walz Tohill, he was the youngest of four kids. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Ted Tohill, and sisters Jeannine Withers and Rosalie Cox. He grew up in Jerseyville and still has many folks from there he called friends. While in high school, his family moved to Wood River, where he graduated from Wood River High School, Class of 1958, and distinguished himself in his ability to play basketball. Edgar put himself through college and graduated as a Civil Engineer from the University of Missouri, Class of 1963.
He spent 32 years working for the Army Corps of Engineers at Carlyle Dam, Clarence Cannon Dam and in the District Office; he loved what he did. Edgar held jobs of increasing responsibility and graduated from Purdue University, Class of 1974, with a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering Program Management. Upon graduation from Purdue, the family returned to the Glen Carbon area. They lived there until 1978, when he moved his family to Saudi Arabia for a two-year assignment that lasted much longer. The family lived more than 22 years in Saudi Arabia and Seoul, Korea. He and his family made lifelong friendships while living in Saudi Arabia at King Khalid Military City, which continued when they moved to Seoul, South Korea, in 1984, where Edgar was the Chief of Construction. He retired in November 1995 from the Corps of Engineers-Far East District. In February 1996 he accepted a job with the Saudi Arabian International School in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where he worked until July 1999. Edgar was a mentor to many young engineers as careers were started.
Edgar loved to stay busy and from 2000-2009 he continued overseeing construction projects as a consultant in Knoxville, Tenn.; Huntsville, Ala.; and Colorado Springs, Colo. He remained active in the church he had attended since a teenager and helped St. John United Church of Christ through tough times as the church worked to redefine itself. Edgar kept busy in retirement by renovating houses, traveling, enjoying time with kids and grandchildren, and his weekly visits to Lowe’s.
Edgar loved sports and was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. He enjoyed listening to what was going on with friends and family, and talking about work, sports, politics or current events. He was proud of his kids’ accomplishments and enjoyed his grandchildren’s activities. Edgar traveled the world and was able to visit and show his family things that most do not get the opportunity to see.
In January 2014, Edgar was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that robbed him of his mobility and ability to breath. Despite his illness, he vowed it would not stop him.
Edgar is survived by his wife of almost 49 years, Marilyn Baxter Tohill, whom he married on Aug. 28, 1966, in Wood River. Four children were born to this union: Kevin Tohill (Nina), Amy Tohill, Brian Tohill (Andrea) and Gwen Tohill-Macam (Earl). Edgar was blessed with 12 grandchildren who always brought a smile to his face: Megan, Lucas, Landon and Simone Tohill; Nathan, Garrett and Marissa Stull; Kyle and Aaron Tohill; and MacKenzie, Noah and Morgan Macam.
Edgar will be remembered as a true friend, a great family man, wonderful Husband, Father and Grandpa/Papa.
Thank you to everyone, near and far, for your love, prayers, and support. It has helped heal the broken hearts. As we have discovered over the last few days, Edgar touched so many people in his 75 years with us. He was dearly loved by all; not only his family, but the friends he made along his journey from Illinois to Missouri, Indiana, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and back. No matter his illness, the “Explorer” kept going and is now discovering Eternal Life!
Visitation will be 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, at Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home in Godfrey. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 17, at St. John United Church of Christ in Wood River. Memorials can be made to St. John United Church of Christ and the American Lung Association.
Online condolences and guestbook may be found at www.eliaskallalandschaaf.com.