October 5, 1945 - October 7, 2019
Rich Tobaben was born on October 5, 1945, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His parents Vivian and Eugene moved from Oklahoma to Texas when he was a junior in high school. He said, “I got to Texas as soon as I could!” Rich was involved in Boy Scouts and in the AFROTC. He graduated from The University of North Texas with a degree in mathematics specializing in computer related courses, statistics, and German. He also attended Texas A & M University and earned a Master’s degree in computer science, and took additional courses in management. His proficiency in Russian and German came in handy when traveling for business and pleasure.
Rich joined the Air Force after graduation and was stationed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at ENT Air Force Base. He was part of the Aerospace Control Squadron and the SPACETRACK system, which was used for detecting, tracking, and cataloging earth orbiting satellites. He worked with and supervised a software team in Cheyenne Mountain at NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) using radar search systems that were used to detect approaching aircraft and objects (missiles) during the Vietnam War era.
While attending a party in Colorado Springs, he met Mary Jane, his wife of 49½ years, who was teaching there at Mitchell High School. They married on March 21, 1970, six months after they met! Both sets of parents were pleasantly surprised that Rich and Mary Jane were Missouri Synod Lutherans!
After leaving the Air Force as a Captain, he worked at Texas Instruments in Austin, Texas. While in Austin, son Jim and daughter Tiffany were born. He was transferred to the Plano area and worked for TI, Raytheon, and a small company named Polatomic. He worked as a computer programmer and software manager for many government systems. He was a member and for many years the treasurer of the Association for Software Engineering Excellence.
Rich, his parents, and sister Maggie joined Messiah Lutheran Church in 1962. Upon his return in 1976 to Plano with his family, he became an usher and was involved in many church activities. He was the facilitator of a Careciples group for over 30 years, and he always had a clever way to keep the group involved and engaged in the lessons. He had a very strong faith and shared it in his daily life.
Rich was always a happy and content man. He loved listening, singing, and dancing to music, sailing, traveling, and reading. Rich played bridge most of his life and taught that card game to many others—including Mary Jane. He had a gift for listening, figuring out the problem, and then solving it. His love for math and problem solving was passed on to Jim in his computer career. Rich had a wonderful sense of humor and shared his puns and wit until his last months. He loved animals, and they loved him—a gift he passed on to Tiffany.
He was devoted to and loved his family and was so very proud of them. Jim and Tiffany were always in his thoughts and prayers, and they learned so much from him. He loved watching them grow into loving, caring, professionals. Having Kara join the family made him so very happy, too. Rich loved his grandchildren, Will and Elizabeth. He enjoyed all of the times that were shared at home and on special outings. Their visits and seeing them be successful in their many accomplishments always filled him with joy.
Rich had many, many friends—at church, at work, and even at Grand Brook Memory Care in Allen. Alzheimer’s disease took the best of him away, but he still had that special smile for Mary Jane and other family members when they came to visit. He will be missed by many, but everyone knows that he is rejoicing in heaven.
He is survived by his wife Mary Jane (Lintner), daughter Tiffany, son Jim and his wife Kara, grandson Will, and granddaughter Elizabeth, his sister Margaret Sanders, and nieces Sarah Sanders and Whitney Cutlip. Rich was preceded in death by his parents: Vivian Virginia McGehee Tobaben and Eugene James Tobaben.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Comfort Dog Ministry of Messiah Lutheran Church, 1801 West Plano Parkway, Plano, TX 75075.
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252
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