Cover photo for Penrod Toles's Obituary
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1929 Penrod 2017

Penrod Toles

October 29, 1929 — January 13, 2017

J. Penrod Toles, a seventy plus year Roswell resident, businessman, former State Senator and community leader, died peacefully at his home January 13, 2017. He was born October 19, 1929 in Happy, Swisher County, Texas to John E. Toles and Audie Penrod Toles who predeceased him. He was also predeceased by his three sisters Charlotte Toles, Christine Toles Elliott and Marybeth Toles Mangum.

In 1943, Mr. Toles came to Roswell from Lubbock, Texas, to attend New Mexico Military Institute. This event proved to be the beginning of a lifetime of service and devotion to NMMI by Toles. He received his high school diploma, junior college degree, senior college Bachelor of Science degree and an Army Reserve Commission from NMMI. Mr. Toles also attended Washington & Lee University School of Law, in Lexington, Virginia, receiving a LLB/JD degree.

Toles served five years in the US Army Reserve from 1950 to 1955, including two years' active duty as a 1st Lieutenant in the 66th Tank Battalion, 2nd Armored Division, U.S. Army of Occupation, Germany.

In 1954, Mr. Toles married Sally Saunders who survives him. She is the daughter of the late Col. and Mrs H.P. Saunders, Jr. Col Saunders was the Commandant of New Mexico Military Institute while Toles was a cadet. Toles is also survived by three sons: Perry Saunders Toles (and wife Sherri) of Roswell, Tyler Penrod Toles of Albuquerque, John Harwood Toles of Denver, and by three grandchildren: Joshua, Jordan and Shelby.

Mr. Toles practiced law in Roswell for several years before forming The Toles Company, a family business involving oil and gas production, commercial real estate, and farm and ranch properties. He was active in state government, serving in the New Mexico Senate from 1960 to 1966. Toles was State Chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico from 1968 to 1970.

Toles served in various capacities for state, community and church endeavors. He was a fundraiser and builder, chairing the building committees for the construction of three major projects in Roswell: The Roswell Family YMCA, the First United Methodist Church, and the Working Mother's Day Nursery. Toles served as Board President of the Roswell Public Library; Chairman of the Roswell Industrial Development Corporation: Member of the First National Bank of Roswell Board of Directors; and New Mexico Chairman of the YMCA Youth and Government Program.

Their public endeavors and charitable services caused Mr. and Mrs. Toles to be the first couple honored as "Citizens of the Year" by the Roswell Board of Realtors. Mr. Toles was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Roswell, where he led an adult Sunday school class for 50 years. He served on the Pastor-Parish Committee of the church, and was a Trustee of the New Mexico Conference Methodist Foundation, Inc.

Of the many organizations that Mr. Toles served, none received more attention than New Mexico Military Institute. Over a seventy-year period of close association Toles served as National President of the NMMI Alumni Association, President of the NMMI Board of Regents, and President of the NMMI Foundation, Inc. NMMI honored him as a Distinguished Alumnus in the Hall of Fame and dedicated the "J. Penrod Toles Learning Center" in his honor in 1985.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 pm, Friday, January 20, 2017 at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Archie Echols of Lubbock, TX officiating. Family will be receiving friends following the services at the First United Methodist Gallery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to a church, school, or charity of choice.


Memorial Service

First United Methodist Church
200 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
Roswell, NM  88201
Friday, January 20, 2017
1:30 pm


Ballard Crematory
910 S. Main Street
Roswell, NM  88203
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Penrod Toles, please visit our flower store.


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