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James "Ralph" Toland '61 August 15, 2022 12:31 PM updated: August 15, 2022 12:37 PM

James Ralph Toland
August 22, 1939 – July 28, 2022

James Ralph Toland passed away on July 28, 2022, at the age of 82, after courageously battling a respiratory-related ailment for many months. Our beloved husband, father, and grandfather remained the same congenial, wise and humorous man he was throughout his life until the end.

Ralph was the only child of loving parents, James Murray and Lola Ru De Toland. He was born in Nacogdoches, TX and grew up in Jacksonville, TX, where he received his entire early education, playing golf from a young age with his father who later coached him and his friends on the Jacksonville High School golf team. In 1957 Ralph enrolled at Texas A&M where his ability as a talented golfer landed him a full scholarship on the A&M varsity team. He graduated with a business degree from A&M class of 1961 and was a lifetime member of the A&M Letterman Association. Remarkably, he remained active with the Aggie golf team and coaching staff all his life. In 1964 Ralph received a master's degree in business administration at A&M. Later he joined the U.S Coast Guard which included several years in the reserves, serving from 1966 to 1972.

In Dallas, not long after beginning an outstanding sales career, Ralph met the love of his life, a young high school teacher, Patricia Ann Crouch, whom he married in 1965. The marriage of Pat and Ralph was storybook from the beginning, two East Texas natives, each with a long family history at Texas A&M, happily suited to be constant companions for 56 years. They were blessed with two sons, Kyle and Chris, who filled their lives with great love and adventure! Recently, Ralph was so proud to become a grandfather to Mikkel James Toland, born in Norway to his son Christopher.

Ralph was an Aggie through and through who treasured his memories at A&M and enjoyed seeing his classmates at yearly reunions where they reminisced about old times. Ralph was an avid supporter of all Aggie sports teams, and for him, some of the best highlights of the year were going to Aggie home football games! He enjoyed coaching his two sons in soccer, baseball and most rewarding of all, playing golf alongside them. Among Ralph’s most fondly-remembered times was visiting Pat’s late twin brother, Dr. Patrick Crouch DVM, a fellow Aggie, in the Texas Panhandle where they hunted and fished and while there, seeing many nieces and nephews. Cruises to several foreign ports with Pat were a significant part of Ralph’s life as well as hosting their annual Christmas party and entertaining friends at their lovely Galveston area bay home. Settling his family in Quail Valley in 1974, Ralph became deeply established in the community on many levels. Wonderful days were spent enjoying the camaraderie of golf on Fridays with a special group of buddies and then being joined by their families at festive weekly dinners. His friends often reminded him, with great fanfare, that he shot a score of 76 when he was 77!

Ralph truly savored the hours spent with the Barbara Bush Celebration of Reading fundraiser, serving for many years as a host to world-renowned authors whom he and Pat accompanied to speak and then be received at the home of former President George H.W. and Mrs. Bush. Ralph often recalled these annual events as some of the most interesting, fun-filled and gratifying times of his life!

We will remember always his handsome presence, his pleasant demeanor, his laughter, his calm and steady hand when facing life’s inevitable challenges. Enduring charm and optimism reigned supreme, yet was tempered by what he often told us, “Let’s think about that. Let’s do what’s right.” Ralph’s abiding faith was ever present to his family guided by his deeply-rooted Christian values. With gratitude we have received many kind messages from his career associates, recalling his stellar reputation, his work ethic and unquestionable integrity while being known as one of the most knowledgeable professionals regarding cutting-edge dental equipment and representing it to dealers across the nation.

In addition to his wife, Patricia, Ralph is survived by sons, Kyle Patrick Toland, Houston; LtCol Christopher James Toland, Germany; grandson, Mikkel James Toland and his mother Maja Christine Sletvold, Norway, and many extended family members.

Quail Valley City Centre and Golf Club, overlooking Ralph’s favorite golf course, will be the setting for services at 3:00 o’clock, Saturday, August 20, led by Pastor Mike Carlen. A reception will immediately follow the celebration of Ralph’s long and honorable life.

For those desiring contributions, please consider The 12th Man Foundation Men’s Golf Excellence Fund or a charitable Veteran’s organization of your choice.

Memo: In memory of Ralph Toland.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Toland family.


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