When members of the local auto racing community have spoken about the husband-wife duo of Don and Marilyn Toal, they were rarely mentioned separately.
That's because virtually everything they were involved in during their 60 years of marriage they did together. It included many accomplishments brought about by hard work, dedication and sacrifices that resulted in the betterment of local auto racing.
Don, 83, a longtime race official and enthusiastic racing supporter, died Sept. 7, following a lengthy illness.
Don was remembered during the U.S. Open at New York International Raceway Park.
Along with serving as a race official at various speedways for more than 50 years, Don was a former president of the Kodak Park Athletic Association Auto Racing Booster's Club. He was inducted into both the Race of Champions Hall of Fame and FOAR Score Hall of Fame. In 2014, Don and Marilyn received the Junie Donlavey Spirit of the Sport Award for raising more than $1 million in lap money for ROC drivers over the decades.
Although the Toals are from the Rochester area, their presence at so many Buffalo area tracks over the years made them part of this area's local racing fraternity.
While many have given graciously of themselves to support racing, few have given to the high level that the Toals have.
"You can't do anything more for our local auto racing community than the Toals have," local Modified driver Chuck Hossfeld said. "They're the best."
Along with Marilyn, Don is also survived by their daughter, Colleen D'Hondt, and grandchildren, Meghan and Thomas D'Hondt, all of whom are involved in local racing.
Story topics: Don Toal