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Edwin George Tobin


Edwin George Tobin, Ed.D, age 93, of Westminster Shores in St. Petersburg, Florida, died  October 1, 2018.  Ed, the eldest child of Edwin G. and Marian Wallen Tobin, was born in Titusville, PA.

When Ed graduated from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and trained as an aerial navigator. By the time World War II ended, his love for flying was embedded in his soul.  Later in his 40’s, he signed up for flying lessons, and earned his pilot’s license with instrument rating status.

It was in college that his future wife, Joy DeSimone, entered his life when they met during rehearsals for a musical. They married in 1952, and moved to the small college town of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania where they both taught music.

Ed continued for years as an educator and administrator in public high school serving finally as the Director of Admissions at Westminster College. His doctoral dissertation focused on the benefits of a 4-1-4 academic calendar, which allowed students to explore innovative topics during a one month January term. He left Westminster after being appointed President of the Henry Hall Office Supplies Company in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Over the course of several moves Ed frequently served as a church choir director and was a soloist in select choirs. In Leesburg, Florida, he re-built a choral program totaling over eighty people. The chorus performed frequently for the Hawthorne retirement community where the Tobins lived.

He was well known in the Pittsburgh area for his memorable performances in the community theater. Because of Ed’s resonant baritone voice and razor-sharp comedic timing, directors sought him for leading roles in a variety of notable plays and musicals. He also directed the pit orchestra for other shows. He and Joy often played opposite each other, to the delight of their audiences.

What especially endeared Ed to people around him were his quick wit and his penchant for one-liners that stayed with him throughout his life.  He enjoyed introducing himself as “handsome humble Ed with the best legs in Pennsylvania (or Florida).” His arsenal of jokes flowed like a fountain and he was often sought out as a Master of Ceremonies.

Ed is survived by his wife of 66 years, Joy DeSimone Tobin; three children, Mary Lynn Tobin (David Campbell) of Davis, California, Jeffrey Tobin (Laura) of  Indiana, Pennsylvania, and David  Tobin (April Guillen) of Cabin John, Maryland; four grandchildren; two great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at the Blackburn Chapel of Westminster Shores in St. Petersburg, Florida, 2:30pm, Saturday October 20, 2018. Gifts may be made to the Edwin and Joy Tobin Scholarship Fund at Westminster College, 316 S. Market Street, New Wilmington, PA 15717 or a charity of your choice.

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  • Joannie johnson handlos says:

    So sorry for your loss. When I saw the Tobin name in the New Castle News obituaries today, I remembered the plays from the Crescent Theater in Mahoningtown. My mother, brother and I were in the Sound of Music with Joy playing the lead in 1965. My brother (John) was Frederic and I was Gretal. My mother (Bunny Johnson)was a nun in the chorus, she has since passed. I’m sure she was in other plays with Joy and Ed. They live on in our memories and song. Peace.

    Joannie Johnson Handlos

  • Frank DeFelice says:

    My condolences to the family of Ed Tobin. Dr. Tobin was a professional in all of his endeavors.

  • Ellen Hazel says:

    Please accept our condolences. What an exceptional man, wife, marriage and family. It has been our honor.

  • Dawn Leone-Parker says:

    Mrs. Tobin, Jeff, Laura and the entire Tobin family,

    You have my deepest sympathy and prayers that God blesses and comforts you during this difficult season and always.