Posted 4/15/2019 19:34 (#7441327) Subject: NE IL lost a great mechanic, patriot, and friend....
A well-known old-time IH mechanic passed away last week in NE IL. His name was Harold Tobenski. He started working at the local (Herscher IL) IH dealer just before the start of WW2. When the war broke out, Harold joined the Navy & was assigned as an engineer in the engine room of an LST. Harold & his crewmates picked up their ship from the Seneca ship yards on the Illinois River and sailed it down to the Mississippi River, thru the Gulf to the Panama Canal & on to the S Pacific where they participated in many US/Japanese battles. If you knew Harold, he seemed a good fit for the engine room of an LST. I doubt it was exactly "First Class Accommodations" in there, but Harold seldom complained about discomforts. Harold was very proud of his Navy service.
When the war ended, Harold returned to the IH dealer & resumed his work. Harold was also an avid Harley rider and continued to ride one up to the present day. He went places on the Harley also...not just a Sunday rider. California, Florida, and many spots in-between. Harold started riding before there was ever a motorcycle license needed. He kept it that way also.
Though he officially retired a few years ago, he didn't really. If you needed a 1206, M, 450, F30 or whatever worked on, Harold would show up with his van & tools & fix it. Even at 93, he had a sharp mind and was even sharper physically. I believe he had most all the service manuals burned into his "on-board" memory. He could split a farmall with but a couple wrenches, some blocks, and a jack in no time. If you wanted to help him, that was fine too. He enjoyed sharing his IH experiences with anyone.
In 2018 our American Legion post in Chebanse honored Harold a plaque after his first ever tractor pull, at the age of 93, at the Pull In The Park. Harold passed away at his home, peacefully apparently, though many were surprised he wasn't in his shop at the time. He spent a lot of time there working on customers tractors.