SCHS Board Vice President, Jeff Tobes dies of cancer at 68

Jeff Tobes, 1947-2015Sean Bressie
Jeff Tobes has left us at age 68, but he has also left us with a wonderful legacy.

Jeff had more energy than most of us could have ever imagined, and used it to make good things happen.

For many years, he was a key figure in building the History Day program in Sonoma County. He inspired his students to do research, work extra hard and even find financial sources to keep the program alive. Because of Jeff and others like him, Sonoma County's History Day people have left their mark at every level, from the local school to the national competitions.

When Jeff decided 10 years ago to take his loyal youngsters on long walks, they, and perhaps he, were not sure what they were getting into. More and more people joined up for 25-mile jaunts in Sonoma County and around San Francisco, starting in the very early morning and ending deep into the evening. More and more people got their exercise, learned their history and had a great time as Jeff set the pace. He even threw in an extra muscle-bender in 2011 in honor of Fred Wiseman, our favorite daring ex-pilot of the early 20th century.

Jeff was a fine teacher, a great treasurer for the Sonoma County Historical Society (the books are balanced), and a real contributor to the world in which we live.

Tributes and Obituary

Press Democrat, Longtime teacher, champion of walking Jeff Tobes dies
Sonoma County Gazette, Jeff Tobes - Teacher - Historian - Leader - Walked his Talk

Facebook Posts

Steve Lehmann:"like" is such an odd choice. Honor, respect and awe would be better. Whenever I put the second "R" in Forrestville I'll smile and think of Jeff.

National History Day:  Jeff Tobes' unwavering support for History Day is unparalleled. Thousands of Sonoma County History Day students have benefitted from his dedication and determination to provide a History Day program to the students of Sonoma County. We will miss his ready smile, outrageous ideas, and endless energy.

Michelle Boren Smith: My heart was so heavy last night selfishly thinking of how I will never hear his genuine and enthusiastic hello how are you. What an example of a man and teacher, he genuinely loved and respected those he taught and not all were students. Guy and I will miss him.

Leasa Graves: My heart is doubly broken this morning! I would not be the teacher and human I am without the support and guidance of this incredible man. Jeff Tobes was a pioneer, a true educator, a passionate historian and one of the kindest humans I've ever met. I was blessed to call him my friend!

Anthony Hoskins: Dear Jeff, friend in a million. Generous, enthusiastic, kind, humorous, heart-of-gold. I will always remember him and hold him in my heart as an examplar of love of country and public spiritedness.A life most truly "well-lived".

Colleen Lynette Bowen: Ohhhhh how sad for sure..a great teacher and inspiration....walk on Mr. Tobes....

Jeremy Nichols: We will especially remember Jeff as the creator and leader of the Sonoma County Historical Society's annual 20-mile walk.

Stephanie Marcucci Avilla: So sad such a wonderful amazing teacher. Everything I know about history is do to him and his love for teaching

Shawna Carnation: I have such amazing memories of Mr. Tobes growing up. Such an amazing man...

Susan Scully Kalkman: Condolences to his loved ones. He lived his life so fully awake.

Sandy Grant: We will all miss him!!

Dennis Bolt: He was so generous with his time and enthusiasm in regards to both National History Day California and his love of trumpeting.

Ginger Minnich: Amazing teacher.

Erin Thomas Imbach: What a loss! He was a great teacher, a great trumpet player, and a walking historian! I was privileged to be on a couple of his historical walks (25 miles!) What an amazing man!

Benigna Gonzalez: El señor tobes fue un maestro ejemplar y muy querido por mucha gente como se esmeraba en ayudar a sus estudiantes todos lo vamos a recordar por sus actos bondadosos estoy muy triste por eso (Mr Tobes was a master copy and very loved by a lot of people as esmeraba in helping their students all of what we are going to remember their acts kind I am very sad for that)

Sarah Monroy: Yo tambien estoy muy triste....pero el siempre vivo su Vida al maximo y el era UN buen ejemplo en ese acpecto. (Also very sad.... But he always lived his life to the fullest and it was a good example in that acpect.)

Patti Doyle: Such sad news! He will be dearly missed....History day memories live on...

Pleasant Hill Christian School: Jeff was a great friend of our school, our teachers and our students. We will miss him!

Robin Joy Kent Wellman: What!! Oh no. Very sad about this. I love this man

Geraldine E. Magers: With sympathy in the passing of Mr. Tobes. I remember well his visits to the Northwest Library with his students. It was so very inspiring to see him teach.