John Colin Toline

March 2, 1955February 28, 2020
Play Tribute Movie

John Colin Toline, 64, passed away on Friday, February 28, 2020, in Forest Park, IL. A Celebration of Life is scheduled for Saturday October 9, 2021 from 2pm to 4p.m., with a service at Woodlawn Funeral Home starting at 2:30PM, 7750 West Cermak Road, Forest Park, IL 60130. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at

Colin was born in Biloxi, Mississippi on March 2, 1955, to John Algot Toline and Kera Bertrand Toline Rogers (nee’ Laney then Toline Rogers). His family later moved to Moline, Illinois. He spent his childhood in an idyllic neighborhood filled with families, activities, and nature. Colin was a gifted artist and musician, excelling in both at an early age. He was an artist for the high school creative arts magazine, Kaleidoscript . He was active in the Moline Boys Choir, and at a young age played both piano and guitar. He later expanded his skills to numerous musical instruments.

As a young adult living in the Quad Cities, he was a member of numerous bands that played locally and regionally. These included the Nuze (1973 – 1976); Stillwater Blues Band (1976 – 1980); The Mudcats (1980 – 1991) which opened at the Col Ballroom in Davenport, IA for the famous Muddy Waters; and Alewife, the long-standing musical project Colin co-founded in 1993 as a Latin ‘surf-a-delic’ Exotica Quintet. Alewife released the albums Alewife, Muzzled in Babylon, Woodpussy, Yakul Lagoon, Fresh-Delicious-Crisp, Invader Species, and Alewife 6. With current band members Beverly Gibson, Miguel Gonzalez, Alex Haussmann, and Mitch McNeil, a new album produced by Colin and subsequently dedicated in memory of him, Palace of Musical Destiny was released in September, 2020.

Colin was instrumental in organizing many local community gatherings and parties which featured musical groups in the cities where he lived. His original graphically-designed invitations promoted these events and promised crowds of followers and admirers.

He was a masterful player of electric bass, upright bass, acoustic guitarist, theremin, and keyboard. He was active in recording and rehearsing in local music studios. Colin played musically in Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. He paired with his brother, Mark Toline, for regional guitar shows as Toline Brothers Guitars. Colin, individually and with the band, The Mudcats, was inducted twice into the Quad Cities Blues Hall of Fame in 2019.

A Professional Land Surveyor, Colin was Owner and Principal for 17 years of Professional Land Services, L.L.C. (PLS), located in Forest Park, IL. Licensed in both Illinois and Wisconsin, PLS served the commercial, residential, and public sector/utility markets. Professional Land Services was the 1998-1999 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of exceptional leadership and devoted service by the Chicago chapter of the Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association (IPLSA). Colin was the former Chicago Chapter President of IPLSA. PLS was the recipient of the 2020 Best of Forest Park, IL awards in the category of Land Surveyor.

He attended Moline High School, and studied industrial design and art at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL.

He married Antoinette Graham in 1990 and later divorced. He married Carol Jean Anthony in 2017.

Colin was a man of heartfelt generosity and phenomenal talent. Warm, welcoming and accommodating, he never failed to surprise. He had a towering, handsome presence. He loved his family and considered his wide circle of friends his kindred tribe. Colin provided a soundtrack for our lives.

Those left to honor Colin’s memory are his son, John Andrew Toline; wife, Carol Jean Anthony; mother, Kera Toline Rogers; brothers, Mark Anderson Toline (Ann Quinn and son North Toline) and Paul Alexander Toline; sister, Catherine Anna Toline (Leo Lentsch).

Colin is preceded in death by his father, John Algot Toline; his step-father, Thomas Wallace Rogers; aunt Christina Bertrand Laney; aunts Elizabeth Hutchings and Marjorie Amundson; and his grandparents Bertrand James and Vera (nee’ Federov) Laney, and Basil Irving and Reno (nee’ Anderson) Toline.

John Colin Toline’s cremated remains will be interred at Riverside Cemetery, 3400 5th Avenue, Moline, IL 61265. Service is scheduled for Monday, October 11, 2021 at 2pm at Riverside Chapel Mausoleum.


  • Celebration of Life

    Saturday, October 9, 2021


John Colin Toline

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kent Schlundt

October 11, 2021

I feel privileged to have known Colin. One of my great regrets is that I did not come back and visit Colin and other old friends more often.

There is a scene in the Mr. Rodgers movie where Mr. Rodgers tells this young man about an exercise he does. He asks the man to "Just take a minute and think about all the people who loved us into being. Just one minute of silence."
Colin was someone who loved me into being and I am sure many others.

Losing Colin reminded me of a line from John Prine's song Summer's End: "Summer’s end came faster than we wanted."

For some reason of all the memories I have of Colin, the first one that popped in my head was when we were in high school or just beyond. Colin had a VW bug and the driver side sun visor kept falling down. Colin was getting annoyed so at the first stop he looked around the car and found a kitchen knife, the basic type you eat with along with your spoon and fork. Colin took the knife and drove it up through the visor where it stuck and held the visor in place.

Regarding art and other things I'm sure, Colin was a casual genius, or at least it seemed so in that he made his creations seem easy. I attached a photo of a label he drew for Mississippi Water.

Colin, we miss you and I hope to see you on the other side.

Jennifer Wolfe

July 31, 2020

Colin was my neighbor and also a friend. He surveyed my home in February and he passed shortly thereafter. He lived next door to me for about 15 years and he always was working hard and hunting for cool crap to bring home. I thought I was a picker but he had me beat! I took portraits of he and his son with vintage surveying equipment that he found over the years and he sent it out as his Christmas card. He appreciated art in all its forms, so he really dug the photos we took and I loved them too. He said he always wanted to buy a home down south where it was warm, I said you should do it, don't put it off and then I heard of his passing-Do not put it off! Godspeed on your next journey Colin, you were a rare fellow and you are certainly missed!

jim ackelson

April 3, 2020

I met Colin in 1973 when he was moving into his college dormitory room. As I passed his open door, I saw this big clumsy-looking freshman making structural changes to the room with a small sledge hammer. He answered my puzzled look by explaining how he intended to correct a poor architectural design. Impressed by his take-care-of-business attitude, I introduced myself, unaware how significantly my life was about to change..
Colin’s appetite for exploration and adventure was contagious to everyone he encountered. Just tagging along, I discovered camping & climbing at the Mississippi Palisades, caving near Maquoketa, countless adventures. Colin had a humble appreciation for the beautiful world around him. He was a true artist, nurtured and bolstered by the community of creative genius that surrounded him in the Quad Cities.
I only knew Colin for about ten years, but that time was a treasure. All of us who knew him are so incredibly blessed to have been drawn-in by his laugh. What a privilege to have had the opportunity to share his wonderment and joy of discovery. Yet, I still grieve this monumental loss. Rest in peace, my friend.

Bill Shannon

March 30, 2020

Something caused me to think of you just now so I Googled you only to find that you were no longer with us. I met you at Balsamo-Olson in the 80s where you worked with Bruce Bruckelmeier then lost track for close to 15 years. I recall visiting you in your tiny studio apartment in Hinsdale now and then. It was full of musical instruments. Was very cooI. In the late 90s I found you at SDI/V3 and lost track of you when you left there. Was hoping to reconnect. So sorry I waited. You were a great guy and a true friend. You'll ever be missed...especially your easy laugh.

steve blaser

March 16, 2020

hiking down"bright angel''trail at 2 oclock in the Grand Canyon without a camping permit,waking up in a New Mexico desert being attacked by a colony of fire ants that we had camped on the night before,a small fire on a secluded beach with the pacific ocean as our companion,the whole highway1 experience,countless hours spent in the woods......treehouse building.the non critically acclaimed movies shot with an old 8mm camera,a lazy afternoon at the abandoned rock quarries in Tipton iowa, and as always with Colin... the music. you live on,my brother. I love you Colin Toline . steve blaser


March 13, 2020

I've enjoyed the pleasure of being in Colin's presence only a hand full of times and usually involved a music scene of some sort. And like all those within the Toline family he was kind, gentle, sincerely interesting and interested, supportive and willing. Our world loses a good person.

Dennis Hancq

March 9, 2020

So many good memories with this guy. Colin was always on the hunt...never slowed down when it came to finding a good deal. I remember trying to keep up with him on Maxwell Street in Chicago and various antique stores and he was always way ahead sniffing out all the good stuff.
The best memories though, were the many wonderful gigs the Mudcats played and he was the one that kept that momentum up too. Great musician, great artist, great friend and one of the most generous people I've every met. You are missed my friend.