Gary Randall "Toby" Tovsen, 71 of Mauston died Saturday, November 10, 2012 at his home.
He was born to Muriel “Babe” (Trimm) Wagner and Elwood “Toby” Tovsen on June 20, 1941 the oldest of five children. He graduated from La Crosse Central High School in 1959. He married Rita Ann Sciborski on May 16, 1964 at St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church, La Crosse. He worked for the railroad until a strike then went to work at Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. in La Crosse. In 1970 they moved to Oshkosh to sell wine and he was offered a job from General Beverage and moved his family to Lancaster in 1973 and also bartended at the Hotel and the North Star in La Crosse. In 1979 he was offered to run the Loyola School of Dentistry Student Pub and also worked at “At’s-A-Nice Italian Restaurant as a bartender and cook. His Aunt Pat and Uncle Jerry Bettin told him about the “Harmony Lounge” being for sale and Rita and Toby fell in love with and purchased the bar and grill in 1981. They ran the “Harmony” until the fire in August of 2008. Recently he started running “Harm-A-Rita’s Pub” in the back of the Quality Inn and Motel.
Gary “Toby” lived life to the fullest. He was a great husband, father, grandfather, brother, cook and friend to everyone he came in contact with. He accepted you with open arms and would do what he could to help you big or small. Gary “Toby” was a proud member of the Army National Guard for 29 years. A legion and a Moose member, a longtime member of the La Crosse and Oshkosh Eagles Club, the Mauston Lions Club and the Juneau County Tavern League for over 30 years. He was a past president of the Mauston Lions Club and received the Melvin Jones Award. Gary was also a member of the softball league, cribbage league, Vice President and Board Member of the Juneau County Tavern League and served on the Mauston Park Board. He enjoyed many activities such as baseball, softball, basketball, bowling, golf, darts and playing cards along with many more activities. He donated his time to many functions and community projects. He loved to help and was very proud of his community and the people. His cooking and presence will be greatly missed by many.
He is survived by his sons Adam (Hannah) of Mauston, Brad (Lisa) of Citrus Heights, CA, a daughter Lisa (Alan) Voss of Mauston, his grandchildren Izzy Addison Tovsen of Mauston, Nicholas Tovsen of Rockland, CA, Abigail, Zachary, Kyle, Alissa, and Alana Voss of Mauston brothers Tari (Janice), Kit both of La Crosse, Scott (Lisa) of Elgin, IL, a sister Tonya (Keary) Mattson of Hortonville, WI, a brother-in-law Dale Mrazek of Los Altos Hills, CA, a sister-in-law Cynthy (Dan) Ellenz, many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Rita, his parents, Rita’s parents a niece Michelle Tovsen, cousins Jack Frietag, Jonnie and Larry Johnson, aunts Marion, Lorraine, Artis, Norma, a sister-in-law Mary Mrazek, and a brother-in-law Jerry Sciborski.
Memorial services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Sunday, November 25, 2012 at the Mauston United Methodist Church. Friends may call on Saturday from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Crandall Funeral Home, Mauston.