OBITUARY

Clarence "Toby" E. Meadowcraft

May 26, 1927March 9, 2019
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Clarence “Toby” Meadowcraft, 91, of Rockford, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, March 9, 2019. Born on May 26, 1927 in DePue, IL. Son of Charles E. and Mary (Kosloski) Meadowcraft. Veteran of the United States Army. United in marriage to Vonda L. Pillen on June 25, 1949. She predeceased him on February 12, 2009. Member of the Local 23 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union. Enjoyed golfing and avid watcher of the Chicago Bears and Cubs.

Survived by his children, Tamara Suggs, Roxann (Dan) Pixler, Linda (Michael) Menor, Shirley (Emanuel) Gagliano, George Meadowcraft; grandchildren, Bryan Parrish, Jennifer Kohen, Lindsy (Rob) Coan, Justin (Haley) Menor; several great-grandchildren; sister, Grace Okelson. Predeceased by his parents; wife, Vonda; siblings, Delores Randle, George Meadowcraft, Stanley Mickel, Frank Mickel, Ed Mickel, John Mickel.

Celebration of Life Funeral Service at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 15 at Sunset Funeral Home, 8800 N. Alpine Rd, Machesney Park. Visitation at 9 a.m. until time of service. Entombment following full military honors in Sunset Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the family to be established at a later date. To share a condolence www.sunsetfhmemgardens.com

Services

  • Celebration of Life Visitation Friday, March 15, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Funeral Service Friday, March 15, 2019
REMEMBERING

Clarence "Toby" E. Meadowcraft

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Cindy Lynn Ostergard

March 12, 2019

I just finished going through the photos. What a nice job you all did. I cried like a baby and downloaded a couple of my favorites.

Your family has been so special throughout my life. I wish I could be there to support you on Friday. Please know I'm sending all my love and prayers to each and every one of you.

Wherever we go in the afterlife, I hope our parents are playing cards, having a couple of drinks, and having a wonderful time.

Much love,
Cindy Lynn

Reg Drye

March 12, 2019

"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted" Matthew 5:4
Mr. & Mrs. Meadowcraft were always kind and made me feel welcome in their home. Paula and I are thinking of the family during this difficult time. Take comfort in knowing your parents are together again.

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Clarence Edward Meadowcraft

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Clarence Edward Meadowcraft

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Biography

Clarence E. "Toby" Meadowcraft was a modest man, quiet and observant in his ways. He was trustworthy and traditional in his approach to his life and in his relationships. He was tough-minded with the kind of “stick to it” attitude that earned the respect of all who knew him. He was also a man who was meticulous, carefully disciplined, and orderly in virtually everything he undertook. Realistic about life, he was always at the ready, prepared to take on responsibility.

       His parents were Charles E. and Mary (Kosloski) Meadowcraft. Toby was raised in Depue, Illinois. He was brought up to be self-confident and dependable. These were traits that would serve him well throughout his life.

      Growing up in the Meadowcraft household was a bit different than most homes. There were good times to be had, but just as often there was a fair share of challenges as well. However, Toby was able to work through the usual family problems when they appeared, and he was the one person in the family who seemed able to keep the stress at bay. Toby was raised with seven siblings. He had brothers, Frank, John, Edward, Stanley and George and sisters, Grace and Delores. Toby was constantly involved in activities with his brothers and sisters. Toby and his siblings may have had the typical rivalries while growing up but Toby was always consistently loyal to his family.

      As a young child, Toby was never someone who needed to be the center of attention. He wasn’t pushy and never forced his way into games or other activities. Toby developed a variety of interests, though, and the things he enjoyed doing he did well. He was always curious about the world around him and was often eager to explore it. In his spare time he liked catching toads which earned him his nickname. However, what Toby enjoyed most was simply playing and spending time with his many friends.

      While his teachers and even his friends generally thought of Toby as being a serious person, he managed to have a pretty good time in school as he made that critical transition from adolescence to adulthood. He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. Toby was a very logical person who enjoyed learning about factual information. Using his exceptional memory, he was able to learn much through observation. Toby always seemed to have a command of the facts and was able to make it seem as though he could easily master any problem that might be presented to him.

      On June 25, 1949 Toby exchanged wedding vows with Vonda Lee Pillen at the St. Louis Roman Catholic Church of Princeton, Illinois. Compassionate and devoted to Vonda, Toby held endearing, traditional values about marriage and family life. He took the responsibility of marriage to heart, giving it his total commitment. He was a source of strength to Vonda and using his gifts at nurturing one-on-one relationships, he worked hard to make his new family happy.

      Toby brought the same traditional values in his marriage to bear on how he raised his children. He was a good parent to them, always firm yet fair in his dealings. He would always listen carefully and think things through before he acted, even when it was an adverse situation. Toby was also a walking schedule, always seeming to know what everyone in the family needed to do, where they needed to be and when they needed to be there. Toby was blessed with five children, four daughters, Tamara, Roxann, Linda and Shirley and one son, George. They were also blessed with four grandchildren, Bryan, Jennifer, Lindsy and Justin and several great-grandchildren.

      Toby greatly enjoyed what he did for a living. He was a hard worker who expected the same in return from his co-workers. He was skilled at working effectively in small groups and in one-on-one situations as well as handling solo assignments efficiently. Toby enjoyed dealing with concrete ideas and could penetrate any amount of fuzzy information to reach the essential facts. Always able to attend to the task at hand, Toby was excellent at meeting deadlines. He was an efficient worker, one who paid careful attention to detail, allowing sufficient time to complete one task before moving on to the next. His primary occupation was Plumber and Pipefitter. Toby worked hard to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.

      Toby was an United States Army Veteran. He was in World War II having served in Germany. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of Tech 4 in the 78th Field Hospital. He received praise for his valor, including being awarded Victory Metal and Army of Occupation of Germany. A literal thinker who possessed a calm exterior, Toby seemed to enjoy the routines set forth by the military. His results-oriented approach to things made him committed to the job, and he understood well his role in serving his country.

      Toby liked to experience things first-hand as well as learn about them. This trait carried over into his hobbies, where he was very methodical in how he organized his activities and categorized things. Since he enjoyed his private time, Toby always tried to allocate a specific time for working on his hobbies. His favorite pursuits were golfing and being an avid watcher of the Chicago Bears and Cubs. Toby was content to enjoy his hobbies alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.

      Toby found pleasure in sports. Being a person who was comfortable making win/lose decisions throughout life, he could appreciate that athletes made those types of decisions in sports. He applauded those who won, and he enjoyed the statistical data and sports facts and could find himself wrapped up in those details. Recreational sports included golfing. He would watch his favorite sporting events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were the Chicago Bears football and Chicago Cubs baseball.

      Many organizations were grateful to have Toby as a member, since he always brought with him a “stick to it” attitude and a high degree of common sense. Using straightforward methods to successfully complete the job, Toby was a great planner who was incredibly well organized. It seemed that he was able to schedule any event or activity with ease. He always seemed to know exactly what needed to be done. Throughout his later years, Toby was an active member of the Local 23 Union and The Moose Club.

      Toby sought out practical solutions, not individual recognition. He was always grounded and objective, feeling a strong sense of responsibility for taking care of what needed to be done. This selfless attitude earned Toby many accolades for his efforts and achievements. Some of his most prestigious awards included the 60 year Plumber Union member.

      Toby enjoyed traveling and taking vacations. Since he was an early starter and had a knack for planning everything, traveling with Toby appeared effortless. He enjoyed researching all of his examined options and applying cost-effective planning techniques. Plus, no matter where he traveled, Toby always had a back up plan at the ready, just in case. Favorite vacations included going on Cruises, Hawaii, Las Vegas, California and Colorado.

      Toby was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of Toby’s favorites was Chico a Chihuahua dog. They were best friends for 5 years.

      When Toby’s retirement finally arrived in 1989, he was well prepared. He always trusted and placed value in what was logical and in the things he knew, so he was very confident in planning his retirement. He had begun the process early and had his retirement all laid out well in advance. His new life involved staying in Rockford, Illinois. In retirement, he found new pleasure in golfing. Even in retirement, Toby continued to stay in touch with his old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. He was active in his new community and felt fulfilled.

      Clarence E. "Toby" Meadowcraft passed away on March 9, 2019 peacefully in his home of natural causes. He is survived by his children, Tamara Suggs, Roxann (Dan) Pixler, Linda (Michael) Menor, Shirley (Emanuel) Gagliano, George Meadowcraft; grandchildren, Bryan Parrish, Jennifer Kohen, Lindsy (Rob) Coan, Justin (Haley) Menor; several great-grandchildren; sister, Grace Okelson. Celebration of Life Funeral Services were held at Sunset Funeral Home with Pastor Wendell Maynard officiating. "Toby" was laid to rest in Sunset Memorial Gardens Chapel of Love Mausoleum after full Military Honors in Machesney Park, Illinois.

      Commitment is a key word that can be used to describe the life of Clarence E. Meadowcraft. He was committed to living the life of a good man who was both practical and trustworthy. He was committed to the traditional values that he upheld his entire life. He committed himself to being a hard worker who expected the same effort in return from those around him. Most of all, he was committed to those he knew and loved.