Clifford F. Toalston, a man who not only served his country well, but who served the East Canton community for many years, died on March 4.
Toalston, who was 88 years old and had been an East Canton resident since 1946, was a World War II Navy veteran. He was a member of the Lowell D. Oberly American Legion Post 667, where he had served as post commander. He also served as commander in the county and district levels of the American Legion. He volunteered at Massillon State Hospital for 60 years through the American Legion and had served on several state and national American Legion Committees.
Cliff was a member of Church of the Savior United Methodist Church where he was active with the oatmeal ministry. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 36 for 60 years, Julliard Lodge 460 F&AM, Scottish Rite Valley of Canton. He was a member of the Greater East Canton Development Association and involved in activities at the Foltz Community Center.
All this community work earned him the honor of being chosen citizen of the year by the East Canton Rotary in 2000.
Making sure the American flag was honored and available for the community, Toalston helped with flag sales held during the Legion's monthly pancake breakfasts. When the new East Canton schools were built, Toalston -- along with other family members and members of the local Legion -- donated classroom flags, all-weather flags and a set of assembly flags with stands that can be seen by anyone visiting the cafetorium at the school.
"Mr. Toalston was an extremely patriotic gentleman who always had the welfare of East Canton students at heart," said Melissa Marconi, superintendent of East Canton Schools. "He was very active in helping to prepare our students for Boy's State and played a role in our Veteran's Day assemblies each year. Most recently Mr. Toalston and his post at the American Legion donated flags for each and every classroom at our new school building."
Toalston retired from Stark Ceramics in 1986 after 41 years. In addition, he retired with the rank of major from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary after 30 years.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Joan R. (Wallace) Toalston.
Survivors include two sons and a daughter-in-law, Ralph Toalston of Greensboro, N.C., Paul and Lou Ann Toalston of East Canton; one daughter, Beth Ann Toalston of East Canton and others.
Funeral services were held on March 9. Memorial donations can be made to the Greater East Canton Development Association at 224 N. Wood St, East Canton, OH 44730 or the American Legion Emergency Relief Fund at P.O. Box 6141, Indianapolis, IN 46206. Condolences or fond memories may be shared online at www.sandersfuneralhomes.com.