Bob Toney was a treasure

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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Dear Editor:

Thanks for the very good May 1 coverage by Alexa Massey of the passing of our friend and neighbor Robert (Bob) Toney, founder of the Tom Mix Rangers. It was my good fortune to become acquainted with him during the 1940s, more than 70 years ago. Our family moved to his neighborhood. My brother, Thomas, and I played with Robert and his brother Alvin (Skeeter). During our teenage years, Robert had the use of a car and/or pickup truck. He shared and provided rides to any and all.

Following that stage of life, we both left Buckingham County to earn a living, develop a career and start our own families. We also came back home to visit as often as we could and maintained the thought of returning to Buckingham to live someday.

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The return to Buckingham County was accomplished during 1988 when Robert Toney, and his wife, Mildred, and son, Mitch, founded the Tom Mix Rangers and my wife, Annie, son Mark and I founded the Buckingham Branch Railroad (BB).

The Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society approached BB proposing train excursion service which was accomplished. To provide additional historic value, train robberies needed to be handled and Tom Mix Rangers came to the rescue. He and his team shared their talent, resources, showmanship and kindness with everyone. It has been a personal pleasure to observe the smiles and memories created for so many people from all over the world.

In addition to dealing with train robberies, the Rangers participated in many parades and charitable funding events to help people in need. His goal was to provide family fun, fellowship and happiness. We are grateful that the Tom Mix Rangers will continue to share and provide fun family events, under the leadership of his son, Mitch, an appropriate memorial for local hero Bob Toney.

Robert E. Bryant,

Chairman of the Board

Buckingham Branch Railroad, Inc.