He was born on August 13, 1946 in Carbondale, the son of James Estil and Esther Delores (Cox) Tooley. He married Sara Jane Goad on July 6, 1974 at the Marion Third Baptist Church in Marion, and she survives in Centralia.
In addition to his wife of 40 years, Mr. Tooley is survived by his daughters, Laura Robinson and husband Jason of Salem, and Marianne Russell and husband Matthew of Centralia; four grandchildren, Avery Robinson, Ella Robinson, Annisten Robinson and Parker Russell; two brothers, James William “Bill” Tooley and wife Patti of West Frankfort, and John Tooley and wife Belinda of Newburg, Ind.
Mr. Tooley is preceded in death by his parents.
Mr. Tooley was a member of the Frieden’s United Church of Christ in Irvington, for 34 years, where he was a member of the church choir, taught Sunday School, member of the church cemetery board and served on the church council for many years. Mr. Tooley was a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps who served his country during the Vietnam Conflict as a field radio operator from June 23, 1967 until February 19, 1970. He graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a BS degree in Occupational Education and earlier attended the Rolla School of Mines in Rolla, Mo.. He was a ham radio operator since the age of 16 whose call number was first “WA9GUU” and then most recently “WA9G.” He earned his amateur ham radio license and then his extra class ticket radio license. Mr. Tooley was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans. He was grateful to be a recovering alcoholic of 25 years and helping many others to achieve their goal. He cherished the time he spent with his family and loved his wife, children and grandchildren.
Mr. Tooley retired in 1996 as an electrician from Cambridge Industries in Centralia, after two years of service. He was formerly employed with Hollywood Brand Candy in Centralia as a maintenance supervisor for 10 years, National Mine Services Company for two years, Missouri Portland Cement in Joppa as an electrician for three years and Shawnee College as an instructor for one year. He has lived in Centralia since 1980 and previously lived in Anna for three years and was raised in Marion.
Celebration of Life Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, January 12, 2015 at the Frieden’s United Church of Christ in Irvington, with Reverend Stacy Tate officiating. Burial will follow in the Frieden’s United Church of Christ Cemetery in Irvington, with military honors accorded by the Centralia American Legion Post 446 and V.F.W. Post 2055.
Friends may call from 5 until 7 p.m. Sunday, January 11, 2015 at the Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home in Centralia and from 12:30 p.m. until the time of services at 1:30 p.m. at the church.
Memorial Contributions may be made in Mr. Tooley’s memory to the Frieden’s United church of Christ and will be received at the Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home in Centralia.
Online Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Mr. Tooley’s family at moranfuneralhome.net or on Facebook.