Tobin remembered at Pasadena Tab

Bob Tobin was a unique individual and a true icon of the Western Territory, where he served with distinction as soldier, cadet and officer for almost six decades.

The large congregation who assembled at the Pasadena Tabernacle for his memorial celebration did so to pay their last respects and to capture–just one more time–the sense of his influence on their lives.

Had there been time, each one present could have told innumerable stories of their encounters with Bob…no two would have been alike and not one would have come up with a negative memory. What an exceptional individual and what an exceptional achievement.

Bob came from rugged, solid, new frontier stock. His Dad met the Army in a small prairie town in Western Canada and his mother came from the Orkneys –a small group of desolate, storm swept islands off the northern coast of Scotland. Both became Salvation Army officers.

Bob was born on June 25, 1929 in Juneau, Alaska–before statehood and while it was still part of the Army’s Canadian Territory.

In part, because of the poor health of Bob’s sister Margaret, the Tobin family was transferred to Southern California when Bob was in his early teens and soon after, his parents became the corps officers at the Los Angeles Congress Hall.

Bob stayed on at the Congress Hall when his parents moved to another appointment and established an evangelistic team of young men in the corps who became affectionately known as “The Deacons.”

While working at camp Mt. Crags Bob found the love of his life, and on July 7, 1950 Marianne Bailey became his life partner at the old training college in San Francisco and they entered the Intercessors Session in 1951.

They were commissioned probationary lieutenants and appointed to the Ballard Corps in Seattle, Washington the following year; this was the first of seven corps appointments in the Northwest, Hawaii and South-ern California Divisions spanning 18 years.

Shortly after their appointment to the Los Angeles Tabernacle Corps on Hoover Street, he led the congregation on a move to Hollywood in the renovated Hawaii Theater and Palms restaurant on Hollywood Blvd. They were stationed there for eight years.

A further 24 years of various staff appointments included that of divisional commander of Alaska and the Northwest, property secretary, community relations secretary and secretary for personnel at THQ.

Thousands of lives have been touched by Bob’s warm personality, subtle humor and deep empathy during his forty-two years of active officership.

Among other pastimes, Bob loved to pilot small planes in Hawaii, go deep-sea fishing in Alaska, and search for antiques and SA memorabilia wherever he was!

But perhaps his greatest love–after his wife, three children, Linda, Jim and David and six grandchildren and sister Doris–was music.

One of Bob’s favorite band selections was Leslie Condon’s “The Call of the Righteous” portraying “the mystical procession of Christian heroes, saints and martyrs” who have responded to the trumpet call and have gathered over on the other shore to hear the roll being called.

Undoubtedly, his name is written there in bold letters and he has heard his Master call:

“Sing it again, Tobin.”
“And what shall I sing, Lord?”
“Except I am moved with compassion,
How dwelleth thy Spirit in me?
In word and in deed burning love is my need;
I know I can find this in thee.”


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