- Published on Tuesday, 02 March 2010 16:00
- Written by Los Altos Town Crier
DeLloyd Edward Tobie (Dick) a longtime time resident of Los Altos, had a peaceful passing on January 30, 2010 he was 90 years old. He lived a full and adventurous life and always kept the stories flowing. His wife Dorthy, children Jason, Lana, Paul, and six grandchildren survive him. Proceeded in death by youngest son Dan Tobie.
At 18 years old Dick got the incurable flying itch and left Wisconsin for Homestead, Florida. There he took flying lessons he paid for by being a hopper loader for a crop dusting outfit. With help from his mining engineer brother in South America, and savings from jobs he bought himself a J3 Cub for $600.00 and followed the rivers and highways north to Wisconsin. Landing where he could, even once on a highway to refuel at a gas station. Sleeping under the wings in farmer’s fields and giving rides for gas he found his true passion. He later traded in the J3 Cub for a clipped wing Monocoupe and loved racing and performing aerobatics at air shows. In 1940 he was hired with United Airlines at the age of 21 as the youngest commercial airline pilot. After completion of training in Oakland at the Boeing school of Aeronautics he was sent to Chicago Midway for line check in the B-247. In SFO he flew the DC-3 and was later transitioned to the DC-4, DC-6, DC-7, DC8, B-747. As part of the war effort he spent time flying military contracts to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Dick retired number one on the seniority list for United Airlines in 1979.
In 1943 Dick fell in love with a TWA flight attendant, Dorthy Hawkins. Their partnership through the 66 years of marriage included a storybook life of travel and special times with family and friends.
Dick took great pride as the founder and owner of the Los Altos Sub-Acute & Rehabilitation Center located on Fremont Ave. He loved being outdoors, and was often duck hunting, fishing, playing tennis or jogging. Dick was one of the true pioneers of the airline industry who saw a vast scope of technological and safety changes that have made flying what it is today. Two of his sons inherited his love of flying and became career commercial airline pilots. We miss him, and wish him a restful layover in the wild blue yonder.