In memoriam: Toby Grace 1945-2019

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Toby Grace ,1945 — 2019. Out In Jersey magazine Editor Emeritus.
Toby Grace ,1945 — 2019. Out In Jersey magazine Editor Emeritus.

Memorial Celebration of a life well-lived planned

As 2019 was being welcomed in as the New Year, Out In Jersey magazine editor emeritus Toby Grace was speaking in his home about the perils in the world, and in our own communities. He was not optimistic. This was a bit out of character for Toby, but not really. Since the 2016 election, like so many of us, he was feeling… let’s just say disappointed at best and disgusted at worst. 2019 — The Year of the Wolves was his last online article. It encompassed his thoughts on January 2nd, please check the article out on our website.

Out In Jersey magazine's Editor Emeritus Toby Grace
Out In Jersey magazine’s Editor Emeritus Toby Grace

The staff of Out In Jersey magazine will hold a memorial celebration of a life well-lived on Sunday, March 31, 2019 from 2:30-4:30 pm at Fiddleheads Restaurant in Jamesburg, NJ. Please RSVP on our Facebook event listing.

To say I miss him is an understatement. Toby Grace was not just my friend, but also a writer and editor emeritus at Out In Jersey. 17 years ago, he helped to launch the business. He was editor for the first 10 years. He was one of the few that knew everyone and how LGBT advocacy should be. We disagreed often, but through it all he was still a close friend. He mentored dozens of young writers in those early days. He mentored me too! To me, and so, so, many others, he was the heart and the soul of Out In Jersey. We will all miss him.

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Here is what others have been saying on Facebook about this incredibly talented LGBT advocate and teacher.

Billy George wrote for Out In Jersey magazine in the early 2000s.
Billy George wrote for Out In Jersey magazine in the early 2000s.

Billy George: Professor Tobias Grace, educator, editor, fantasy writer, lover of British history and veteran of the Stonewall era, gay liberation, AIDS, and marriage equality passed away in his home today. He was a very important person in my life and I will miss him terribly.

I met him at a very vulnerable time in my life. I was at a low point in many ways and needed guidance, patience and love. He provided all that and so much more. He became a mentor, friend and family member. He gave me so many amazing people who will continue to be a part of my life. He brought me food when I was too poor to buy it. He gave me comfort when I was sad. He edited every single one of my papers in undergrad and taught me to write.

He helped me develop my spiritual side and was a vesicle of great knowledge. I could go on and on. Most importantly, he was a kind, loving soul in a world that needed one. I know many of you didn’t know him but he was a very important person.

NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora was the first NJ State government legislator to be an out politician
Trenton, NJ mayor Reed Gusciora was the first NJ State government legislator to be an out politician

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora: I’m so sorry to hear. Toby visited my class to talk about Stonewall. He was in Massachusetts [correction—Delaware] at the time but knew all the people involved and came during the aftermath. Great guy.

Will Loschiavo: This has been a very heartbreaking week. I was notified that my former editor who has also been my dear friend and mentor for the past nine years, Toby, suddenly passed away. This has been extremely difficult to process. Toby gave me some of my first career opportunities which ultimately led to bigger opportunities. Toby was a reference of mine and never complained about being contacted nor supporting me. Toby was my go-to whenever my world came crashing down, and no matter what was taking place in his life, he always made an extra effort to ensure I was okay. I pray Toby can be as much of an Angel for me on the other side as he was for me on this side. The world lost one of its best this week.

Nancy Hillman: So sorry for the loss, RIP Toby, condolences for friends and family…. He has been a gift for the LGBTQ movement for many years. One of the most interesting people in the Trenton area.

Danielle Finch: Such sad news. I really enjoyed working with him when I wrote a few articles during my high school years. Hope he finds peace.

Mary Wilkinson Trigg: I got to know Toby when he reviewed my chorus, Princeton Pro Musica. He was gracious and always positive. I heard about his kids and grew to think of him as a friend. He will be missed by all.

Peter Sonny Hobday: We are so sorry to hear this. Tobias was always such a positive person with a unique style. A great spokesperson for the gay community.

Deborah Cole: Unique, eclectic, comically and eloquently outspoken. A huge loss to the LGBTQ community!

 

Toby Grace at the Javits Center in NYC for the GLBT-EXPO in 2012
Toby Grace at the Javits Center in NYC for the GLBT-EXPO in 2012

Toby would request that all contributions on his behalf benefit a local LGBT Homeless shelter or LGBT services provider. Family Memorial Services will be announced at a later date in the Spring by Chiacchio-Southview Funeral Home in Trenton (chiacchiosouthview.com)

The staff of Out In Jersey magazine will hold a memorial celebration of a life well-lived on Sunday, March 31, 2019 from 2:30-4:30 pm at Fiddleheads Restaurant in Jamesburg, NJ. Please RSVP on our Facebook event listing.

Tobias Grace (A. Tobias Grace) – 1945—2019