Monte James (“Jim”) Toner died June 28, 2018 in Reno, Nevada. Born in 1939 in the Springer Hospital in Hettinger, ND, Jim was the grandson of grandparents on both his paternal and maternal sides who homesteaded in Perkins County.
W.J. and Laura Gaffney Toner were paternal grandparents. W.J. Toner started the Bank of Strool. He built the Catholic Church located on Toner land in Strool in 1912. The church was moved near Reva and joined with the church from Ralph in the fifties. It stands today as Our Lady of the Prairies. The family house he also built in Strool in 1912 was moved to Prairie City in the fifties.
Grandmother Laura Toner was widowed early with five young children all eight years of age or under. She served as the Postmistress in Strool for many years.
Maternal grandparents John and Margaret Manley Connery farmed north of Strool and are buried in Hettinger, along with Jim’s maternal great grandfather, John Manley, and uncle, Cletus Connery. Two of his maternal cousins, Alan and Don Snorteland (Ida Marie) continue to live in South Dakota.
Jim was born the eldest of nine children to William “Red” Toner and Kathryn Connery Toner. When Jim was five, the family moved to St. Paul, Minnesota where Jim was raised. He studied for the Catholic priesthood in St. Paul, Minnesota and Rome, Italy, but was not ordained.
After eight years in St. Louis, where he attended graduate school, Jim and family moved to Reno, Nevada. In Reno Jim had a successful career with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. After retirement from the National Council, Jim served as President of Bishop Manogue Catholic High School.
His parents, brother Bernard (also born in Hettinger), brother Patrick, and sister Katheryn Mary preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Susan; daughters Kristen, Nicole and Bridget, granddaughter Kailey Kathryn Fitzpatrick, and siblings Sheila Exner (Don), Kathleen McBroom (Ron), Maureen Singleton (Tim), Peggy Riehm (Harry), Julia Toner, Linda Toner, widow of Bernard, and Suzie Toner, widow of Patrick.
The Toner farmland in Perkins Country was sold in 2017 by the Toner family.
Jim loved his early years in Strool and always enjoyed the times he returned to the area.
Funeral Mass was celebrated in Reno with internment in Resurrection Cemetery in St. Paul where both his parents and his wife’s parents are buried.