Darwin Tockey, Sr.
Darwin Tockey, Sr., “Dar,” was born in Sargent, Neb. March 18, 1927. He was the youngest son of Ora and Florence Tockey. He passed away peacefully Dec. 7, 2012 in his hometown of Bishop. He was 85.
Dar moved to Coleville in 1941 and attended Coleville High School. His high school experiences in Coleville were some of his fondest memories. He told stories about his good friends and always grinned when reminiscing about being allowed to carry his shotgun on the school bus so he could hunt for supper during breaks.
Later, the family moved to Bridgeport where his father operated the meat department at the local market. It was a short while until his father was recruited by Doug Joseph to manage the meat department at Joseph’s Market in Bishop. Darwin attended and graduated from high school in Bishop. During his senior year, he was selected as captain of the basketball team and many years later he sponsored a local league basketball team. He followed in his father’s footsteps as a meat cutter and was employed by the Joseph family at the Joseph’s Market in Big Pine. Later on, he took the reins as meat department manager at Joseph’s Market in Bishop after the passing of his father. He and brothers Bryon and Mervin were employed by longtime family friend Doug Joseph.
Years later, he purchased Save Time Burger in Bishop where he served as some still say, the “best” French dip beef and hot pastrami sandwiches. His children always knew Dad was helping someone out when they would see a stranger sweeping the patio or raking the grounds at his burger joint. Dar would pay a drifter with a little cash and a choice off the menu for some cleanup around the place. His philosophy and neighborly heart were expressed in these words, “good people fall on hard times; if we have more, we should help and we help more when they feel they have earned it instead of just taking a handout.”
Darwin enjoyed hunting and fishing and was an excellent marksman and fisherman. Among his friends, he was fondly referred to as “Long Shot.” In 1952, Darwin won his class in the California State Trap Shoot and later took first and second place for the largest trout caught on opening day. Both lunker trout were cast using his father’s fishing skills and a handed down fly rod.
He was a gentle man and was always able to direct his children with earned respect and never by force. He modeled the attributes of a well-reared person by never pointing out or emphasizing other’s shortcomings. He will be remembered by his kindness, his attachment to his canine family members, and his ability to show emotion when he became aware of a person or animal overcoming a setback or adversity.
Darwin was first married to the mother of his children, Betty, and after, married Eleanor his wife of well over 40 years. Darwin, Betty and Eleanor gave the family a wonderful gift by always respecting each other’s choices and celebrating holidays and family gatherings together as one large family. His second marriage to Eleanor came with an extra bonus of three daughters whom he always treated as his own.
Darwin was preceded in death by his father, Ora; mother, Florence; wife, Eleanor; brothers, Byron and Mervin; oldest daughter, Sharon; youngest son, Doug; granddaughter, Sunee; and grandson, Alfie.
He is survived by his sister, Audrey; the mother of his children, Betty; daughters, Elaine, Joanne, Tina and children, Darwin Jr., Daniel, Marla Jan, David; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Honoring his request, formal services will not be held. Darwin’s cremains will be placed at the resting place of his daughter during a family gathering at a later date. In lieu of flowers or cards, the family requests donations be made to the ICARE Stitch Fund.