Obituary: Edward Perry Tolley Jr.


Edward Perry Tolley Jr. passed away on Nov. 15 at the age of 89.

He was married to, and divorced from, Carol Lee Bick. His second wife, Nancy Jobstle, predeceased him. He is also survived by his brother, Lee Tolley of Colorado, his children Caroline, Edward III, Brook and Alexandra, and his seven grandchildren.

Born and raised in Glen Ellyn, IL, Ed, played center and guard on the Glenbard Township football team, played sax and clarinet in the Melody Makers Band and was an Eagle Scout. He became a skilled carpenter while working construction jobs during summer vacations. Ed graduated Magna cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1951 with a B.A. in English Literature and where he was also a Senior Fellow and a member of Psi Upsilon Fraternity.

As a Sargent First Class in Korea from 1952 to 1954, he saw combat as part of Tank Company, 65th Regiment, third division, where he named his tank “THINK” tank as a joke for the intellectuals fighting the war. He suffered partial hearing loss from firing his 50 caliber machine gun from atop his tank while fending off a night attack by the Chinese Army. His company fought at the Battle of Out Post Henry (Harry) and he was awarded two Bronze Stars, the Korean Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantry Badge, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

Post Korean War, Ed attended NYU Law School at night while working for Vick Chemical Company, which took him to Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Cuba. He was one of the last Americans to flee Havana when Fidel Castro and his communist rebels drove President Batista out of Cuba in 1959. From 1960 to 1970, Ed was a tax and securities associate at Cravath Swaine & Moore before becoming a partner at Brown, Wood, Ivey, Mitchell and Petty in New York City. He was the first lawyer in the family and inspired at least four of the next generation into the profession.

Ed called Port Washington home. In his free time, he coached PYA football and baseball. An avid sailor, he was a member of Port Washington Yacht Club as well as Knickerbocker Yacht Club, where he loved to sail in Manhasset Bay. He also sailed his Pearson 33, Cat’s Meow, in the Virgin Islands where he had multiple adventures on the high seas.

From Port Washington it was an easy drive upstate where he enjoyed hiking at the Adirondack Club and Camp Nawakwa in Harriman State Park. He relished skiing in New England and Colorado. With his carpentry skills, Ed built his cottage in Quogue, mostly with his own hands, but with the help of Carol Bick and his brother-in-law Alan Bick and sister-in-law Marie Bick. It was there that he enjoyed idyllic summers drinking martinis with the crew on the front porch of the cottage. Playing tennis at the Quogue Field Club was a favorite pastime as was swimming in the surf at the Quogue Beach Club. His children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews continue to enjoy these pastimes in Quogue and the cottage still stands today.

In his later years he enjoyed many blissful times with his high school girlfriend, Marilyn, in Paradise Valley, AZ. Ed was also a published author, a humorist, a car lover,and a raconteur who loved laughing and telling stories about his life and his travels. Many will recall his large smile and iron-grip hand shake. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Quogue Library, P.O. Box 5036, Quogue, N.Y. 11946, or after Dec. 1 by accessing their webpage at Attn: Memorial Giving/Edward P. Tolley Jr.

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