Sherman W. Toensing - Rochester

 ROCHESTER — Sherman W. Toensing, 85, of Rochester, died Tuesday, July 27, 2010, at Saint Marys Hospital.

Sherm was born May 12, 1925, in St. Paul to the late Arthur and Frances Toensing. Raised in Atwater, Minn., by his uncle and aunt, Walter and Luella Lindemeier, he graduated from Atwater High School. He enlisted and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a signalman aboard the USS Laffey. Following his military service, Sherm began his college education at the University of Minnesota and completed his undergraduate degree at Valparaiso University in 1951. It was there he met Joan Coyner, and they were married in 1951 in Waynesboro, Virginia.

A lifelong educator, Sherm loved teaching geography, social studies and driver’s education at Stewart, Pine Island and Rochester Mayo High Schools. He received his Master’s degree from Winona State in 1972. One of his passions was coaching, and he was a beloved coach and athletic director in Pine Island for many years.

Sherm loved working with wood, whether it was beautiful jewelry boxes or carving birds, he often gave away these special projects as gifts. Generous in time and spirit, he offered faithful service and leadership at Trinity Lutheran Church for over 50 years. He loved to travel and criss-crossed the country many times visiting children, grandchildren, relatives and friends.

He was a man who lived well and loved living. His devotion to family was the driving force in his life.

Survivors include his wife, Joan, of 59 years; and children, Ellie (Tom) Wilmeth of Grafton, Wis., Nancy Toensing of Rochester, Sandy Toensing and (John Leehman) of Blacksburg, Va., Scott (Kathy) Toensing of La Grange, Texas, and Holly Toensing of Cincinnati, Ohio. Grandfather to Nate, Emma and Dane Leehman, Emily and Alex Toensing, and Cindy and Dylan Wilmeth, and Great Grandfather to Samantha Leehman. Also surviving is his sister, Merne Fagel, and many cousins, nieces and nephews who will remember "Patch".

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Bud, and his son Tom.

A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, August 1, 2010, at 3 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Rochester. Visitation will be from 1:30 p.m. until the time of the service. The Reverend William Otte will be the officiant. A private burial at Fort Snelling National Cemetery will be held at a later date.

*Memorials are suggested to St. John Parochial School of Atwater, Minn.; Trinity Lutheran Church of Rochester; or Bethany Lutheran School of Waynesboro, Va.