Horace Reed Toevs (91) was the third of seven children born to Henry and Elizabeth (Chappel) Toevs on February 13, 1925. He passed to a life in the Spirit on November 15, 2016 at the Kansas Christian Home. He was raised in Newton, Kansas and attended public schools where he met Ione Conner. As Horace and Ione continued in school together theirs became a loving, committed relationship. By the time Horace graduated from high school and joined the Navy in 1943, Ione was prepared to wait until he returned from his tour of duty to be united in marriage.
As a Seaman Horace was trained to be a signalman, using flags and lights to communicate with other ships instead of by radio, on the Wingéd Arrow—a troop transport in the Pacific. In fact, at the time the atomic bombs were dropped, the Wingéd Arrow had been prepared to invade Japan. In 1946 Horace was discharged from his Navy service and returned to Newton where he attended the University of Kansas and Wichita State University.
Horace and Ione were married on November 5, 1950 in a ceremony at the First Christian Church where the couple became very dedicated and active members. They were blessed with the birth of two daughters, Denise (Toevs) Ternes and Connie Toevs.
Horace and his father opened and operated Toevs Men’s’ Wear at 517 Main Street in Newton. Upon Henry’s death, Horace continued the store’s operation which lasted forty years. At one time he was a partner in a local Chrysler-Plymouth car dealership and also learned to fly his own planes which he kept at Newton Airport, where at times he even volunteered to oversee the airport’s operations.
In 2000 Horace and Ione moved to the campus of Kansas Christian Home (KCH) where they have lived for sixteen years. Yet, their transition to retirement community life only seemed to enhance Horace’s civic and church-related service. He was a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce; a life-long member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars; Exalted Ruler of Elks; the Masons and Harvey County Shrine, the Midian Shrine; and served as director of the Jesters of the Shrine; member of the First Christian Church Board; the Axtell Christian Hospital Board; moving on to the Newton Medical Center Board; the 1972 Board Chair of the Kansas Christian Home and member of the Building Committee for the 75-Bed Building Development program.
As KCH campus residents, Horace and Ione enjoyed full participation in the KCH Auxiliary. They also traveled all over the United States, coast to coast, and to Alaska in their motor home.
Horace is preceded in death by his parents: Henry and Elizabeth Toevs; brother: Donald Toevs; sisters: Marcella Throne and Judy Cox.
He is survived by his wife: Ione Toevs; daughters: Denise Ternes, and Connie Toevs; granddaughters: Danielle, Vanessa, Briana, and Lindsey; great Grandson Weston, and sisters: Roberta Swinehart, Betty Turman, and Brother Bruce Toevs.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Saturday, December 10, 2016 at the First Christian Church of Newton. A gathering with friends and family will follow the service at the Meridian Center in Newton.
Memorials have been established for the following: Kansas Christian Home, First Christian Church, and the Good Shepherd Hospice; all of Newton. Petersenfamilyfuneralhome.com.
Loved working with all the Toevs. They gave me my first job and taught me a lot about work and life. Miss them all. Great family.
So sorry I didn’t know about Horace’s death until it was too late to go to the funeral. I would love to have seen his family & siblings. I am Horace’s 1st cousin. My mom was Elvera (“Tootsie”), youngest sister of Horace’s dad. I have great memories of families gatherings with Horace and all my Toevs relatives in Newton.
Fair winds and following seas sailor.
Thank you for your service to this nation.