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Blue Water

Who Was Thomas Toy 

       Thomas Toy’s kindness and heart are the reason the community center is named in his honor. He was a kind, generous, loving, and humble man. He worked hard, found time to support his 5 kids and 4 grandchildren, gave to his community and in 55 years of marriage, never had a mean word to say to his wife Edie.


       Thomas came from humble beginnings and was no stranger to adversity. His parents were immigrants with 8 children. The family’s finances were often tight, and he felt like he didn’t  always fit in. He was left handed in a time when the world was not accommodating and often did things opposite of those around him, this sometimes caused friction for him. Thomas overcame many experiences where he was not treated kindly. Despite this adversity, Thomas was an easy-going person and prioritized making sure that everyone around him felt comfortable, welcomed, and above all else loved; a value he taught to his kids.


       A humble man, he served his country in the Korean War and through his ownership of the Big Boy Market, served his community. For Thomas, the Big Boy Market was not just a store that he owned with his brothers, or a place he worked 7 days of the week, but rather a place that he was able to put a smile on others’ faces. Thomas liked to make people feel comfortable and at ease, which came naturally with his compassion and kindness. He knew his customers by name, and they all knew him as Mr. Toy.  He never helped people for recognition, and he often helped them quietly. His help could be as little as teaching kids how to count or paying the tax for a toy; or as significant as allowing customers to postdate a check or buy items on credit until they could get on their feet. These were always quiet acts of kindness that he did in such a way that it made people feel loved, rather than judged. Thomas never asked for recognition or denied a request for donations. He gave of himself and never said no to helping someone, even when he didn't have the time. 


       While remarkably kind, his greatest accomplishment was his family. He valued family and while a bit of a workaholic, he always found time for them.  He took a week in Tahoe each year to ensure he took a proper vacation with his wife Edie and kids.  His favorite activities were those that he got to enjoy with family; they included regular doubles tennis games with his brother, wife, son, daughter and son in-law, ping-pong, cards and fishing. Thomas looked forward to get-togethers. Both Thomas and his wife Edie really looked forward to watching their kids and grandkids play sports.  They especially loved to watch them play either in baseball, tennis and basketball, as they all were very athletic ball players. Thomas was his kids and grandchildren’s biggest fan. They always knew “Grandpa” would be cheering them on from the stands Thomas' family meant the world to him. He was an all-around true family man. It is our hope that the same spirit of kindness compassion and love that he taught his family will be the legacy of the Thomas Toy Community Center.  Thomas Toy was the type of person we hope all our youth become.

The Inspiration Behind the Logo

The Thomas Toy Community Center Logo is in commemoration of the Big Boy Market and Big Boy Market Logo where Thomas Toy's hard work, kindness and generosity were a beacon of light for the community.

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