Photography

       


Donald Newell Tolman

August 1, 1929 ~ August 13, 2018 (age 89)

Donald Newell Tolman died peacefully in his sleep in Springville, Utah on August 13, 2018. He was 89 years old and is finally reunited with his sweetheart, Lucille, his daughter Valeri, and his three brothers, Marlow, Lynn, and Wayne.

Born on August 1, 1929 to Newell Hogan Tolman and Dora Call, Don spent much of his childhood travelling on the road between Bountiful, Utah and Los Angeles, California moving fruit and other produce with his dad. While living in Utah, Newell and Dora welcomed two more sons to their family, Marlow and Lynn.  Later, another brother, Wayne, rounded out the family when they lived in South Gate, Los Angeles County, California.

Life in East L.A. was tough on these 4 young boys and their experiences welded them together into an invincible force to be reckoned with. Don’s crooked smile, nose, and some of his best stories all originate in Lynwood with his brothers where they found support and strength from each other. As a 16-year old, Don left home to work in Wyoming only to be lured back to California two years later by his mother who told him all about their pretty neighbor across the street. The ploy worked, and Don left Wyoming to see this pretty neighbor, Lucille Jane Johnson, for himself.  He then quickly fell in love and didn’t waste any time wooing and wedding her.

Over their 50 years together, Don and Lucille experienced many hardships and good times. Their first son, Stephen Donald Tolman, was born December 31, 1949 followed by Craig Lewis Tolman, who was born November 10, 1951. Later, they would welcome their first daughter, Valeri Lucille Tolman, who was born on January 20, 1955. Valeri waited 10 long years before welcoming a baby sister, Lori June Tolman on April 9, 1965.

Throughout all of this, Don worked hard, going from job to job seeking better opportunities to support his young family.  In fact, in one year alone he submitted over 40 W2 forms from different employers.  Shortly after Lori was born, Don found his life’s vocation and passion for traveling across America by driving tour buses. Thousands of travelers benefited from his exceptional driving skills as well as his wry sense of humor.  He enjoyed driving for the Senior Citizen tours run by Betty Clauson and later for famous band leaders such as Woody Herman, Les Brown, and Maynard Ferguson. During Maynard’s World Tours in ‘82 and ‘83, Don became part of the band, not just driving for them but also MC’ing as well as setting up and taking down equipment for gigs all over the United States and Canada.  

Following his retirement and the loss of his sweet wife, he spent some years traveling in his RV enjoying being on the road and even hosting at some national parks.  After failing eyesight ended his driving adventures, his son Craig helped him indulge his lifelong and to that point, unfulfilled, love of motorcycles, by going on Harley Davidson trike romps.  Those were the highlight of his year and became the hallmark of his décor and humorous Christmas greetings to family and friends.

In the last years of his life, Don’s health challenges limited his ability to do many of the things he loved.  Nevertheless, with the unfailing love, support, care and attentiveness of his children--Stephen, Craig, Valeri, and most especially the endless service his “baby girl,” Lori and her family provided—he was able to share his humor, his countless stories, and his boundless love and appreciation for his much-loved grandchildren and his adored great-grandchildren.

And now, reunited with his sweet Lucille, and, more ominously, his three brothers--there is no telling what hijinks and escapades those four are up to--while Lucille looks on patiently and undoubtedly sighs, “Oh Don!”

Don is survived by his children: Stephen (Christine) Tolman, Craig (Karen) Tolman, Lori (Derek) Powell, fifteen grandchildren, and 25 great grandchildren.

A special thanks to the staff of Springville Stonehenge for their tender and competent care of Don during his final weeks.

Funeral Services will be held, Saturday, August 18 at 1 p.m. at the Wheeler Mortuary Chapel, on 211 E. 200 S., Springville, UT. A viewing will be held, one hour prior to the services at the mortuary. Burial will be in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent at www.wheelermortuaries.com. 

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