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Robert Toby Graber

May 8, 2021

Apr. 11, 1944 – May 3, 2021

Robert Toby Graber, the

son of Tobias and

Genevieve (Kensinger)

Graber, was born in

Rolette County, North

Dakota on April 11, 1944.

He died suddenly on

Monday, May 3, 2021

after a short spell of heart

problems at Trinity Hos-

pital in Minot, North


Robert was raised on

the family farm east of

Rolette near Long Lake

and graduated as valedic-

torian from Rolette High

School in 1962. After one

year at UND, he and his

college friend who was

from Virginia struck out

east for summer jobs.

Robert’s summer lasted

thirty years in Virginia

working various jobs and

finally retiring from the

Fairfax County Police

Department in 1990 after

20 years of service. He

was united in marriage to

Rita Roy on May 11, 1984.

The couple relocated

back to Robert’s home

roots in 1995, and with

his background as a peace

officer, he serviced as

sheriff of Pierce County

for nearly three terms.

Robert had many

talents and interests. He

enjoyed building, and

along with Rita, his con-

struction partner,

designed and built two

lovely homes, one in Vir-

ginia and one in the rugby

area. His teaching and

leadership skills enabled

him to gain the trust of

youth as a visiting police

representative in the

classrooms of Virginia

teaching the dangers of

drugs and the importance

of road safety. Robert was

fascinated with trains,

especially the Great

Northern Railroad which

developed into a favorite

hobby, both in learning

the history of the railroad

and in building model

cars to scale. He enjoyed

history of any kind and

could talk about events as

though he witnessed

them. He was also an ar-

tist able to carve life-like

waterfowl. His talent

earned him the privilege

of carving the four-foot

Christ figure for the cruci-

fix over the altar of the

newly constructed parish

church in Virginia.

Robert had a beautiful

voice and loved to sing,

welcoming any oppor-

tunity to participate in

community groups and

the church choir.

Robert was a man of

strong character always

choosing to do the right

rather than the easy thing.

He was very particular

and deliberate in all he

did, doing it well or not at

all. He was a people per-

son who preferred to

drive across town to ask a

question face to face rath-

er than just phone.

Robert was a kind and a

very gentle man. He was

a dedicated loving hus-

band, father and grandfa-


Robert is survived by

his wife, Rita; his son, Ja-

son (Lisa) and stepson,

Rick, both from a previous

marriage, all of Virginia;

brothers, Rick (Cathy) of

California, Rollie (Lollie)

of Montana and Randy

(SyAnn) of Rugby; grand-

son, Tristan (Olivia) of

Florida and Christoph of

Virginia; many cousins,

nieces, nephews; other re-

latives and friends. He

was preceded in death by

a sister, Judy, an infant

brother, Ernest and his


Mass of Christian buri-

al will be held at 11:00

a.m. Monday, May 10 at

Little Flower Catholic

Church in Rugby with

burial in the church

cemetery. Father Franklin

Miller, Celebrant.

Visitation will be from

5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Sun-

day with a rosary and vi-

gil prayer service begin-

ning at 7:00 p.m. at the

Anderson Funeral Home

in Rugby. Visitation will

continue on Monday from

9:00 to 10:30 a.m. at the

funeral home. There will

be no reviewal at the


Music by: Little Flower

Parish Choir

Reader: Monica Houim

Casket Bearers: Jason

Graber, Rick Graber, Rol-

lie Graber, Randy Graber,

George Deplazes and

Frank Graber

Honorary Bearers: Tris-

tan Graber, Christoph

Graber and the Deplazes

Redi-Mix Crew

Arrangements with the

Anderson Funeral Home

of Rugby. Online registry:



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