Donald J. “Toby” Tobias, 76, of Shell Lake died Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 at Indianhead Medical Center. He was born July 28, 1943, in Siren to Andrew and Gunda (Johnson) Tobias. Toby was raised in Siren, graduated from Siren High School in 1961, then served his country with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era as a hospital corpsman in Portsmith, VA. After his service, Toby worked for Northern States Power Company (now Xcel Energy) in St. Paul, Minn., from 1965 - 1971, during which time he attended night school at the University of Minnesota, studying political science. He was married in Webster, Aug. 20, 1966 to Sharon Aubert. He graduated from the Columbia School of Broadcasting in San Francisco, CA, and was later enrolled in the extended degree program at the University of Wisconsin - Superior.
Toby worked as a broadcaster from 1971 to 1983 at WCSW in Shell Lake before joining WAQE and WJMC in Rice Lake as program director from 1983 to 2008. He served on both the 51.42 Board in Cumberland and the Shell Lake Housing Board for several years. He was chosen to deliver the keynote address at the 1981 Shell Lake High School Commencement Ceremony and served as Master of Ceremonies for the Memorial Day program in Shell Lake for many years. He received the Distinguished Service Award to high school athletics for Northwestern Wisconsin. Toby earned several other honors including: Voice of Democracy Award, Appreciation Award from the Spooner Kiwanis Club and from the American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Shell Lake, and a Certificate of Merit from Shell Lake High School. After retirement, Toby enjoyed hunting, fishing and many other outdoor activities. He was a Wisconsin sports fanatic and never missed an episode of Jeopardy.
Toby was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Gunda Tobias; daughter, Heather Stettler; brothers: Gerald and Robert; sisters: Shirley Anderson and Arlene Tobias.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sharon of Shell Lake; their son, Tim (Jenny) Tobias of Minocqua; grandchildren: Garrett, Wesley, Stanley (Brook), and Caroline; great-grandchildren: Ruby and Archer; brother, Jim (Shirley) Tobias of Blaine, MN; special first cousin: Arne (Harriet Rice) Ardell; nephews: Bryan (Pam) Aubert and their children, Nathan and Emma; Kevin (Amanda) Aubert; son-in-law, Sean (Terrie) Stettler; many nieces and nephews, their spouses and children.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 at Salem Lutheran Church - Shell Lake with Pastor Sue Odegard officiating and with full Naval Honors accorded by the Shell Lake Honor Guard and the Wisconsin Military Honors Team. Burial will be in Siren Cemetery. Pallbearers are Garrett Tobias, Nathan Aubert, Bryan Aubert, Tim Tobias, Jim DeLadi and Sean Stettler. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Skinner Funeral Home in Shell Lake and for one hour prior to the service Thursday at the church. Online Condolences may be offered at www.skinnerfh.com.