Wendell R. “Toby” Van Leuven died Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 of causes related to age and diabetes.
He was born Jan. 27, 1927, in Riverside, UT, to Silas Emil Van Leuven and Hazel Hadfield.
When he was four years old, he told his mom he wanted a name that started with a “T” like the family’s cat and dog, and she declared him Toby. After that, the name Wendell was only used for legal purposes and by his mother and sister!
Toby quit high school to join the Navy during World War II and attended boot camp and school at Farragut in northern Idaho. He served on the USS Whippet in the Pacific.
Following his discharge, he worked at an oil refinery in Pocatello, married and had two children. He applied for a job on the Pocatello Police Department, where he worked for the next 25 years. He attained the rank of lieutenant and was chosen to attend the FBI academy for police in 1971. While on the force, he completed his GED at the local college.
Toby then went to work as a jailer for the Bannock County Sheriff’s Department for three years; purchased a bar and grill in Rockland, ID, for a year; then became a groundskeeper for the American Falls Golf Course and finally Bryden Canyon Golf Course in Lewiston, where he worked well into his 70s.
He was an avid fan of the L-C Warriors baseball team. He always had season tickets and occupied the same seat for several years until age and eyesight made it difficult for him to climb the grandstand stairs.
Two marriages ended in divorce and he was widowed from Gudrun. He is survived by daughter Wendy (Harry), son Kevan (Bev), and stepchildren Rikki, Rian (Dixie), Heidi, Kellye (Allan), and DeeDee (Rodney). Also many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brothers and sister.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lewiston, where a memorial was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16. Burial of ashes will be in the spring in the Downey, ID, cemetery. No flowers, please. Kindly consider a donation to one of Toby’s longtime charities: Idaho Youth Ranch; the Wounded Warrior Project; or the Idaho State Veterans Home in Lewiston, where he has resided for three years and was cared for by awesome staff. Mountain View Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
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