William Robert Tobin Jr.

SKIFF MOUNTAIN, KENT — William Robert Tobin Jr. died July 7, 2018, in the company of loved ones. A big-hearted legend who lived on his own terms, Bill is mourned and missed by many.

Born Feb. 6, 1935, to Irene (White) of Brooklyn, N.Y., and William R. Tobin Sr. of Kent, Bill graduated from Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) in 1954. A superior athlete in football, basketball and baseball, he was inducted in 2005 into the HVRHS Hall of Fame. 

From 1956 to 1958, Bill proudly served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Coral Sea, serving as the admiral’s driver in the Mediterranean Region during the Suez Crisis. 

Upon Navy discharge, Bill was recruited by UCONN’s basketball coach for a scholarship, and opted to take over and operate Tobin’s Garage and bus company. Hundreds of grown Region One kids recall getting on and off the bus greeted cheerfully in a cloud of cigar smoke.

 A lifelong Democrat and Kent resident, Bill was first selectman for several terms. He was past fire chief and served with the Kent Volunteer Fire Department for 63 years. He was among Connecticut’s first rural EMTs, in an effort to reduce rural mortality. 

Bill delighted in cooking and serving roast beef for many local events with his trusted son-in-law, Don, by his side. 

For decades, Bill’s deep local knowledge came in handy on the sewer and cemetery commissions. While first selectman, he implemented the Ice Watch.   

Bachelordom followed marriage and children with Charlotte (Irving) Lindsey. Bill’s survivors include his children, William R. Tobin III and his wife, Terry, and children Will IV, Anna, Parker (wife Sarah), James, Elizabeth, Jocelyn (husband Dan), Tristan (wife Lori) and Matt (husband Josh); and great-grandchildren Ayden, Clarabelle, Carrigh, Rory, Tanner and Camden, Elizabeth “Lib” Tobin (and children Genevieve, Wilson, and Keaton), Constance (Tobin) Hedden (husband Don Hedden and children Steve and wife Nikki, and Daniel), Melissa (Tobin) Makris (and children Grayson, Jack, Ryan, Phillip and Christopher), and Polly (Tobin) Goddard (husband Andrew and son Jackson).

A beloved sister and brother-in-law Irene and John Toffey, and brother-in-law Peter Marcon predeceased Bill. 

He will be missed by sister Mary Kirby and her husband, Ed, sister Kathleen Marcon and brother Joseph Tobin and his wife, Gail, and a multitude of cherished nieces and nephews, relatives, friends and neighbors.

 Post-retirement, Bill manned the sidelines of his grandchildren’s athletic events while hay farming on Skiff Mountain at his treasured High Meadow Farm. “Big Bill” is in the hearts of many, living on in the stalwart genes of his offspring. He was never one to complain. 

He was waked at home at 594 Skiff Mountain Road on July 11, 2018 from 4 to 7 p.m. 

Funeral services will be held July 12 at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Kent. Interment will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Kent Volunteer Fire Department in Bill’s memory are welcome.