OBITUARY: Tobe Hergenrader

Tobe Hergenrader

Tobe Hergenrader, a Montrose, Colorado, native, died peacefully at his home on July 19, 2021. His parents owned the Southside Salvage Wrecking Yard south of town. Understandably, Tobe had a love for mechanic work. His dad taught Tobe and his brother, Tom, to hunt, fish, and to trap fur-bearing animals, such as muskrats, as well as to work in the wrecking yard. They sold copper and aluminum that they salvaged from the cars and trucks, and furs from trapping.

Tobe loved to sing, and his love of country music led him to collect lots of music that he enjoyed throughout his life. He had a knack for remembering the words of the songs and to use memorable phrases in his everyday conversations.

He attended Montrose County Schools. After Tobe graduated from high school, he got an apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic with Cummins Diesel in Denver. He got married and had his first son, Dean. A couple of years later, the family moved to Gunnison, where Tobe was a diesel mechanic for the Jim Chelf Trucking firm.

His marriage ended and sometime later, Tobe met Evette Anderson and they were married in 1980. They moved to Denver, where Tobe taught Diesel Mechanics at the Denver Automotive and Diesel College. They had three children: Jamie, Cristina, and Cody.

Tobe was self-employed for many years in Ventura, California, before the family moved back to the Western Slope where he continued to be self-employed as a diesel mechanic and built Tobe’s Excavating business. In his later years, Tobe worked for Western Gravel Company in Montrose and was shop supervisor for over six years until his loss of vision forced him to retire early from the work he loved.

Tobe was an excellent diesel mechanic and could repair any vehicle. He was knowledgeable and a perfectionist in his work and was well respected for his skills and his work ethic and above all, his honesty and integrity.

Tobe will be remembered as a good and humble man, hardworking and with a wonderful sense of humor. He loved his family and the work he had chosen. His grandchildren, Victoria and Zachary, Ryann and A.J., and Tatiana were his heart’s delight. He made lasting friendships and was always a loyal friend.

Tobe struggled through eight years of countless surgeries and cornea transplants to no avail. He is now in Heaven with new eyes and the first thing he saw was Jesus’ face.

Tobe is survived by his four children: (Richard) Dean Hergenrader, Montrose, Colorado; Jamie (Jason) Baier, Oxnard, California; Cristina (Alan) Chavez, Woodland Hills, California; Cody Hergenrader, Grand Junction, Colorado, and his five grandchildren: Victoria and Zachary Gravestock, Ryann and A.J. Chavez and Tatiana Hergenrader.

He is also survived by his sister, Laura (David) Gillenwater; his brother, Tom (Jana) Hergenrader, and his beloved Aunt Carol Ray; several wonderful cousins as well as many extended family and loyal friends. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Evette and his parents, Pete and Ruth Hergenrader.

The celebration of Tobe’s Life will be held at Crippin Chapel, 802 E. Main St. in Montrose on Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Valley Lawn Cemetery, 17769 U.S. 550, Montrose, Colorado, after the service. A reception will be at 63775 Nicolette Way following internment.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Hope West Hospice, 725 S. 4th St. Montrose, CO 81401, https://www.hopewestco.org/donate/ or Montrose Lion’s Club, 602 N. Nevada Ave., Montrose, CO 81401, or the charity of your choice.

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