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Toby is gone, leaves lasting impression in Checkerboard pages

Toby is gone, leaves lasting impressions in Checkerboard pages


     Richard B. Tobias, MD, 83, died April 30, at South Williamsport PA.

     A favorite among Checkerboard readers, his stories were personal accounts of general interest to the membership.

     Toby, as he was called by countless friends in the 99th, wrote an article each issue. Recently he sent the editor extra articles and asked that one be published each issue, "I'm just getting ahead."

     Though Toby is gone, his work will go on. And he will be remembered by 99'ers as long as they continue. His gift of expression was shared, and for that his fellow veterans are thankful.

     He was active in Scouting while growing up and took those skills to the Army where he first served as an enlisted man and then became a medical administrative officer.

     Eventually he was promoted to the position of Assistant Battalion Surgeon of 1st Bn, 393rd Infantry of the 99th Infantry Division at Camp Maxey and served with the 99th in combat in Europe.

     He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals, as well as others.

     He was a captain at the time of the time of his discharge.

     He received his bachelor's degree from Bucknell University in 1947 and was awarded the doctor of medicine degree from the University of Maryland in 1951.

     After becoming a medical doctor he was in private practice until he retired in 1990. He was a charter member of the American Academy of Family Practice as well as many other professional organizations.

     He was awarded the "outstanding member" recognition by the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians in 1978 and served as president of that prestigious organization from 1983 to 1987.

     Gifted as a writer, he served as editor of several professional organizations.

     He traveled extensively and lectured on medical topics in such places as India, Nepal, Kashmir, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Egypt, Kenya, Yucatan, and Mexico.

     A long two column obituary appeared in the local newspaper, which noted among other examples of his community and civic service, "He was a member of the 99th Infantry Division Association and a regular contributor to its publication, The Checkerboard.

     Of course, that was a small part of the story. Doctor Tobias was well liked, admired, and a leader among his fellow veterans.

     Survivors include two sons, David of Elkland, Pa., and John of Mount Pleasant Mills, Pa.; a granddaughter; and two sisters.

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