Hank passed away March 20, 2020 in Southampton, Ontario due to complications from a recent surgery. Born in Zwolle, The Netherlands, to Bert Toby and Hendrika Timmer 81 years ago, Hank emigrated to Canada in 1969 with his wife Gerda and three oldest children. He may have left Holland behind, but his accent reminded everyone who spoke with him of his Dutch heritage. Canada was his home and the place he loved, and being a Canadian citizen made him proud. Hank loved Lake Huron and the wide open spaces that living in Ontario had to offer!
After numerous moves around Ontario, the family settled in Port Elgin in 1971 when he joined Ontario Hydro to work at the Heavy Water Plant, Bruce A and then Bruce B. Upon retiring from Ontario Hydro in 1993, he ran his own business, Adapt Alarm, for a dozen years before selling the business and retiring.
An avid lifelong sailor, Hank was a long time member of the Port Elgin Boating Club, where he served in various positions and committees. As the Commodore of the Port Elgin Boating Club he took the helm during a time when it was evolving from one shaky wooden dock into a vibrant organization. Hank, after moving his last sailboat, Lightwave, to the Gore Bay Marina in the North Channel, remained active at the Port Elgin Harbour, seeing old friends, planning trips and catching up with old friends and people he just met. Hank loved to Gam with everyone. When not sailing, Hank and Gerda enjoyed travelling during their retirement, visiting family in Europe and taking cruises to exotic locations through out the world.
An active community member, he was a member of the Port Elgin Legion and Port Elgin Rotary Club for many years. Hank was awarded the Paul Harris service award by Rotary Canada for his role in spearheading a local community housing project. He remained active in the community and in his own way helped friends when they were in need, Hank was a generous man with a warm heart. Hank could be found in the audience of the Port Elgin Choir for most of their performances over the past 40 years as Gerda was an active Choir member. He will be remembered for being a larger than life character with a big heart, big smile and infectious laughter that caught your attention and made you want to join along.
Loving husband of Gerda Millenaar Toby, his wife for 59 years. Father of Nienke (Kevin) Smith, Jennifer (Francois Auclair) Toby, Bart (Keri Aitken-Toby) Toby, and Nick Toby. Proud grandfather of Molly (Clay), Ben (Ania), Tim Smith; Alexander, Jessica, Peter Kotzeff; and William and Jakob Toby. Pre deceased by his sister Gientje Brandsma Toby and brothers Bert and Lodewijk, all of The Netherlands. Fondly remembered by nieces and nephews in The Netherlands, Canada and the United States.
Due to the current pandemic restrictions, the family plans to have a celebration of Hank’s life on Saturday August 8, 2020. Details will be confirmed closer to the date.
In memory, contributions to the Salvation Army, Port Elgin Food Bank or the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation would be appreciated by the family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Hendrik "Hank" Toby, please visit our floral store.