The incredible life of Sharon Tober ended on Sept. 29, 2020, at the Grand Rapids, Ohio, Care Center. Throughout her 85 years, she said “YES!” to life. As a teen she could plow a field on her family’s farm and fix the tractor she used to do it. Later in the same day, she could look sophisticated in a gold, silk dress she wore to a Grand Rapids High School dance. Having graduated from Grand Rapids in 1953, she went on to graduate from Comptometer School in Toledo. She was strong, intelligent, musical, and amazingly competent. Sharon saw opportunities, not obstacles. She embraced the next new thing, rejecting the status quo. And her laugh was the kind of laugh that made other people laugh, too.
In her decades-long career at Libby Owens Ford, Sharon was a trailblazer with computer technology, starting as a key punch operator and advancing to be the programmer of the IBM computer that controlled the glass operation. Though committed to her work, Sharon was also eager to say “YES” to invitations from friends and family. She showed up to myriad sporting events, dance recitals, and musical performances of her nieces and nephews, often with a video recorder in hand to immortalize the efforts of these ones she loved so well. During her working years, she was a champion bowler with the Queens Bowling League in Toledo, Ohio. Yes, she was a good bowler, but even more importantly she was a supportive teammate and loyal friend.
In mid-life Sharon met the love of her life, Donald Tober, while both were employed at the Libby Owens Ford Glass Plant in Rossford, Ohio. Sharon and Don shared a dream of retiring “Up North.” After years of planning, Sharon and Don were able to say “YES!” when given the opportunity to purchase 80 acres outside of Vanderbilt, Michigan. They filled their days with hunting (Sharon once killed a bear with a bow and arrow), boating, camping, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, motorcycle riding, fishing, socializing, wine-making, participating in antique tractor and fly wheel events, and frequenting their favorite restaurant BJs where the staff became like family to them. While they filled their lives with all kinds of recreation, their priority was their service to the Otsego County Animal Shelter. Sharon and Don rescued countless dogs and gave passionately of their time, talent, and treasure to assure that the Otsego County Animal Shelter in Gaylord, Michigan, would become a no-kill shelter.
Sharon was predeceased by her husband Don, her parents Deloy and Pearl Long, and her brother Evan Long. She is survived by brothers Lionel (Irmgard) Long, Joe (Lynne) Long, stepchildren Joe Tober, Patrick Tober, Dave Tober and Kathy Tober, and nieces and nephews who miss her already. She also treasured the heroes at the Grand Rapids Care Center, and the family gratefully acknowledges their wonderful care and support.
Visitation and memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 17700 Beaver St., Grand Rapids, Ohio, October 24, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. The family asks that masks be worn by all family and friends and social distancing be observed.
Memorials can be made to Wood County Committee on Aging, Building Fund, 305 N. Main, Bowling Green, OH 43402.