June Elizabeth (Thompson) Toland, 98, died Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at Iola.
She was born in Iola on June 19, 1914, the eldest child of Clyde E. and Lucy (Wilson) Thompson. She was the great-granddaughter of Allen County pioneers Samuel and Permelia Hubbard, who settled near Cofachique in 1857. Mrs. Toland was educated in the Iola schools and graduated as valedictorian of her Iola High School class in 1931 and as valedictorian of her Iola Junior College class in 1933.
At the University of Kansas she earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science in 1936. At KU she was elected secretary of her senior class, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board, and Pi Sigma Alpha honorary political science fraternity, in addition to being a member of Gamma Phi Beta social sorority.
As a young woman she worked at Iola Abstract Company, where she learned the abstract business from her father, and received an award for her high score in the first examination conducted by the Kansas Title Association. She then served as a secretary to Kansas Governor Payne Ratner in Topeka.
She married Iola attorney and Kansas State Senator Stanley E. Toland on March 8, 1942, at Iola. They had 53 years together before his death on March 18, 1995. She also served as Stanley’s secretary in Topeka during his term as state senator. The family law firm of Toland and Thompson was comprised of her husband, brother Frank Thompson, and sons John and Clyde.
Mrs. Toland was an 85-year member of the Iola Presbyterian Church, where she served as an elder for nine years, teacher, and Sunday school superintendent. She served as a commissioner to Presbytery and Synod, and served for five years on the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Synod of Mid-America. In 2001 the local church recognized her service with its “Gifts of Women” award.
She was a charter member, and continued as a member until her death, of two organizations — Cofachique Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1949, and the Friends of the Iola Public Library in 1984.
She was an incorporator of a third organization, the Allen County Centennial Commission, Inc. in 1954, which grandly celebrated in 1955 the centennial of the founding of Allen County. After the celebration concluded, the title of the corporation was changed to Allen County Historical Society, Inc., of which she was a life member. She served on its board of directors for over 25 years, serving most of that time also as secretary.
Mrs. Toland was a past president and member since 1933 of P.E.O. Chapter L, a record for Chapter L; in 2012 she had the fifth longest membership tenure of the approximately 250,000 living members of the international P.E.O. organization. She was a member of Unity Club since 1942 (she became an honorary member in 2005) and Iola Music Club from 1929 until its dissolution several years ago. She was an honorary member of the Iola Sesquicentennial Committee in 2009. She was also an honorary member of the Iola Rotary Club since 1995 and was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.
When her sons were young she served as president of Iola city P.T.A. and as a Cub Scout den mother. Mrs. Toland was a warm and gracious lady who liked people and who was devoted to her family and to her community.
Mrs. Toland is survived by one son, Clyde Toland, and his wife, Nancy, Iola; a daughter-in-law, Karen Toland, Kerrville, Texas; one sister, Lucy Lee (Mrs. G.W.) McDowell, Chanute; one brother, Clyde E. Thompson, Jr., Greenwood Village, Colo.; seven grandchildren, David Toland and his wife, Beth, Iola, Andrew Toland and his fiancée, Anna Jackson, Cody, Wyo., Carol Napp and her husband, Brian, Columbus, Ohio, the Rev. Elizabeth Smith and her husband, the Rev. Bart Smith, Roanoke, Va., Mark Toland and his wife, Stephanie, Orlando, Fla., Scott Toland, Austin, Texas, and Kent Toland, Boston, Mass.; two great-grandchildren, Caroline and William Toland, Iola; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1995, her son, John Toland, in 2006, her brother, Frank Thompson, in 1984, and her sister, Charlotte Ford, in 2006.
Funeral services will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Iola. The Rev. Elizabeth Smith and the Rev. Bart Smith will officiate. Prior to the service the family will greet friends starting at 1 p.m. Burial will follow the service at Highland Cemetery, Iola. Waugh-Yokum and Friskel Memorial Chapels, 16 N. Buckeye, Iola, KS 66749 is in charge of arrangements.
The family suggests memorials to the First Presbyterian Church or the Iola Public Library, which may be sent in care of the mortuary.
Online condolences to the family may be left at www.iolafuneral.com.
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