Donald Tober: A Celebration of Life

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Under a tent in Millbrook friends of the late Donald Tober came together this past Sunday to celebrate a life well lived. His wife Barbara Tober greeted the more than 250 guests at the Tobers’ Yellowframe Farm.

It was a perfect day for it. Bob Hardwick on the piano and his quintet played the music the man liked to dance to with his wife. On this day they were surrounded by pumpkins, cabbages, bales of hay, tent poles wrapped in cornstalks, and flowers — everywhere.

Five vignettes recounted this great man’s life: his love of horses and equestrian traditions; his philanthropy which included City Meals on Wheels and the Culinary Institute of America; his company, Sugar Foods, started by his father, Harry Tober, in 1948 and which he grew; and his love of dancing with his wife at the many events where they graced the dance floor with the pleasure they shared.



There were also boards on which to post best wishes and “Donald-isms.” These were quickly filled. One read, “Today is truly Oct-TOBER.” Guests included all the many employees of Yellowframe Farm, and their spouses and children — what Barbara fondly often calls “Toberville.”

In her toast to her man’s memory, Barbara reminded friends how much Donald loved Millbrook, this farm, and them, gathered guests. Without tears she spoke of their 49 happy years of marriage; and it was a happy one together. And in closing, she told them how Donald is still with her saying, “WE are so glad you’re here!”

No doubt, Donald was there in spirit; it was definitely his kind of day on his beloved farm with his beloved wife.


Carole Beller, Barbara Tober, and Gary Beller.
Barbara and Charlie Pierce.
Caroline Merison, Larry Shapiro, and Beth Ledy.
Chris Mann, Michael Bassett, and Claire Mann.
Dede Rosenfeld, Willem de Vogel, Marion de Vogel, and Jackie Drexel.
L. to r.: Fernanda Kellogg, Fernanda Jess, and Kirk Henckels; Debbie Montgomery.
Barbara Tober and Eugene Colley.
Howard and Barbara Bellin, with Encarnita and Robert Quinlan.
James Woods, Rene Woods, and Debbie Glovatsky.
L. to r.: August Ceradini and Bernadette Lim; David and Jane Parshall.
John Ike, Laureen Knutsen, and Ragnar Knutsen.
Karen Klopp, Craig Callen, Gloria Callen, and Pam Taylor.
L. to r.: Jennifer Oken, Farran Tozer Brown, and Katie Ridder; Jack and Irene Banning.
Ken Bittner, Nanci Ocello, and Allan Katz.
Lelee Brandt, with Chris and Grace Meigher.
L. to r.: Jim Cornell, Barbara Tober, and Lea Cornell; John Bratten and Millie Martini Bratten.
Leonard Lauder and Barbara Tober.
Liz Topp, Marta Dedvukaj, Lisa Vita, and Millie Bratten.
L. to r.: Michael Bassett and Darren Henault; Josh Ginsberg, Carolina Gunnarson, and Sue Kim.
Lorna Graev and Katherine Kinsey.
Maria Eugenia Maury and Bill Haseltine with Barbara Tober.
L. to r.: Monica and Ali Wambold; Tara Kelly and Rodney Paterson.
Oscar Tang and Agnes Hsu-Tang.
Pam Taylor and John Klopp.
L. to r.: Zibby Tozer and Ali Wambold; Michele Oka Doner and Fred Doner.
Paula Groenwud, Sem Groenewud, Nan Greenwood, and John Ike.
Roddy and April Gow, Barbara Tober, and Jeanne Lawrence.
Teresa and Bruce Colley, Barbara Tober, and Eugene Colley.
Tom Francoline, Leelee Brandt, and David Parshall.
Will Osborne, Ashley Andrews, and Vincent Andrews.

Photographs by Patrick McMullan

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