Francis Marion Toney, Jr. (Frank) was born on November 6, 1931 in Comfort, WV to Orva Honaker and Francis Marion Toney, Sr.; he was one of six (four sisters and one brother). Home, family and West Virginia remained extremely important to him all of his life. He died on June 24, 2022.
Growing up in Comfort beside the Coal River was a happy childhood memory. Friends, family and his church played large roles in his upbringing. Frank began organizing a family reunion that met near his childhood home beside the Coal River for many years. He fondly remembered growing up in a large family with many first cousins.
After graduating from Sherman High School, Frank enrolled at West Virginia University. He graduated with a degree in forestry and went to work for Gair Woodlands Corporation, assigned to Maclenny, Florida. Gair merged with Continental Can and Frank moved to Warrenton, Georgia where he met his first wife, Edna Amerson, and they married in 1957. A few months later, he was transferred to North Carolina where he remained for the rest of his life. He had the opportunity to become a partner and later the sole owner of Toney Lumber Company, a manufacturer of southern yellow pine, in Louisburg, NC. Frank served on the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Lumberman’s Association and the Southern Forest Products Association. Always an advocate for children, he supported numerous organizations benefiting children nationally and locally.
Frank was always a Mountaineer fan, a crossword puzzle player and an enthusiastic golfer. Golf was Frank’s primary pastime; he mainly played at Wake Forest Country Club, Green Hill Country Club and Olde Liberty locally and at Glade Springs in Beckley, WV. His golf buddies were among his closest friends; they made annual golf trips to Florida and West Virginia and traveled to Ireland and Scotland to play. Reunions with college friends were also an annual highlight.
With a winning smile and outgoing personality, Frank never met a stranger and always made some connection that involved West Virginia. He was very well-liked and respected in business and in his community. He often remembered a friend who helped him financially in the early years and he repaid that favor many times to others.
Frank was a faithful member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Wake Forest, serving on the Vestry and as Senior Warden. Rarely was there a Sunday when he wasn’t in “ his family pew”!
Frank was predeceased by his first wife in 1978, his parents, sisters and brother. He is survived by his wife, Edna P. Toney, his daughters Elizabeth Melvin (Roger) and Susan Gilliam (Johnny), his grandson John Melvin (Emily) and granddaughter Mayla Gilliam; great-grandchildren Catherine and Sam Melvin. He is also survived by two step-daughters and their families: Catina Hayes (Ronnie) and Joan Stone (Mark) and step-grandsons Logan Hayes and Matthew Stone; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to express its deep gratitude to the staff at Avendelle Assisted Living and Heartland Hospice for their dedicated, compassionate and attentive care of Frank.
The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 28 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 834 Durham Road, Wake Forest, NC. A reception will follow from 12:00 - 1:00 at the church. The burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church, 834 Durham Road, Wake Forest, NC 27587 or Heartland Hospice, 4505 Falls of Neuse Road, #650, Raleigh, NC 27609.
A service of Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Center. (919-556-5811)