Harriet Toland

Memorial Service

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Trinity Episcopal Church
301 North Chester Road
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, United States

Obituary of Harriet Toland

Harriet (Sibby) Toland died February 10 of complications due to COPD. She was 93. Born November 23, 1926, in St. Louis, MO, she spent most of her early life in Coronado, CA. It was there she developed a great love for tennis, a game she played until age 80. She attended the Bishop’s School in La Jolla, CA, and after graduating, went on to the University of Arizona in Phoenix for a year. She moved to New York and worked as a secretary, where she met Harry Toland on a blind date. Not long after, they were married in Coronado and travelled east across the country so Harry could work at the Pottstown Mercury newspaper, and ultimately The Philadelphia Bulletin. They settled in Swarthmore to raise their family, first on Haverford Place, then Chester Road, Walnut Lane, and then in Wallingford. Sibby’s final home was the Strath Haven on Yale Avenue. In addition to her skills as a Mom and a tennis player, Sibby was a founder and co-owner of the House of Yarn in Media, finishing countless pillows and bell pulls for happy customers. She and Harry were fundamental to Trinity Episcopal Church in Swarthmore. Sibby helped to organize numerous Holiday Fairs, was the girls’ choir director, was a member of the Altar Guild, and needlepointed the cushions on which parishioners have knelt for Communion every Sunday for years. She and Harry served many turkey dinners during the Thanksgiving season, and she loved assisting at the Trinity Thrift shop. Sibby had a keen interest in gardening, always working to make improvements and try new plantings. Her love of the natural world extended to the welfare of all animals and birds. She was a tremendously skilled knitter and needleworker, creating wonderful socks, sweaters, and embroidered cushions and quilts. Her works embellish and brighten all our homes. She is survived by a brother, Tom Keck (Linda), of Del Mar, CA, her children, Margaret (Weemie) Kingham, Deborah (Tip) Toland (Ken Wassum), Phoebe Toland (Richard Notkin), and Robert Toland II. She has six grandchildren, Jennifer Flynn, Rob Kingham, Alexis Fuge, Megan Chua, Robert Toland, and Grace Toland. And almost seven great grandchildren, AJ, Kelly and Sean Flynn, Sophia and Annabelle Fuge, and Maddie with upcoming Andrew Chua. She will be missed terribly by all who knew her for her generous spirit, her curiosity, and desire to extend to so many to make our world a better place. Deepest thanks to Alexis, her hospice nurse, Jen and Diana, her aides and friends, Father Ted and all of Trinity church, and to her many friends and supporters. A funeral will be held February 22, 10:00 a.m., at Trinity Church Swarthmore. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name can be made to Habitat for Humanity.
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