In Memory

John William Toth - Class Of 1954

John William Toth

John W. Toth

Sept. 29, 1936 - Oct. 18, 2019

SOUTH BEND, IN - John W. Toth, 83, of South Bend, IN, passed away at 5:45 a.m. Friday, October 18, 2019 at the Sanctuary of St. Paul's in South Bend.

He was born on September 29, 1936 to the late John A. and Virginia (Miller) Toth in South Bend, IN, and lived in Atlanta for 22 years - teaching, acting and directing.

John retired in 1999, after 36 years as a Teacher-Educator at various high schools and colleges.

He was a 1954 Graduate of Central High School where he was proud to be a member of Helen Weber's Glee Club and a board member of James Lewis Casaday's Barnstormers. John received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1959 from the University of Notre Dame. In 1962 he received his Masters degree from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. John then received his PhD in 1971 from The Ohio State University in Theatre History and Dramatic Literature.

In 1964 he, William Brady and another teacher started The Country Playhouse on property near Hay School where Musicals were held in the summer. After two years, a permanent structure was built at Oldenburg Farms to house the plays until 1968.

From age 15 to age 70 John acted in over 200 and directed over 100 major productions, including Presbyterian Players, South Bend Civic Theatre, St. Mary's and Notre Dame Theaters, and theaters in Atlanta, Georgia.

He won a fellowship for study in England where he did research in libraries and museums, including British Theatre Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Shakespeare Center in Stratford, England.

John loved to cook, read, watch movies, take walks along the river, and travel the world with his friend Delores Blicher, now deceased. They visited six of the seven continents, all of Europe and the Orient.

He was a member of the former University Club at Notre Dame. John was a speaker for the American Cancer Society, a volunteer for Aids/Atlanta and an actor and director for the South Bend Civic Theatre. John was a Board Member and Mentor of the Scholarship Foundation of St. Joseph County and a board member of the South Bend Education Foundation.

John wants to thank the friends and former students who have invited him into their families, sharing the lives of their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. These children enriched and delighted John as he watched them explore the world, learning about life and love while giving him faith in the future of the world. These dear ones include: Layne Agee, Elena and Meara Batusik, Alex and Emily Bowman, Jordon, Cameron and Caleb Conrad, Ashlee and Logan Cook, Nicole Dunne Meunier, LeeAndra, Eliana and Nathan Fouts, and Katie and Madison Law.

Funeral Services will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to: The Scholarship Foundation of St. Joseph County, 3515 N. Main Street, Suite C, Mishawaka, IN 46545 or The South Bend Education Foundation, P.O. Box 119, 215 South St. Joseph Street, South Bend, IN 46624.

Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, IN is handling arrangements. To send online condolences, please visit

10/20/2019 JFC