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Obituary Stories

Cerebral palsy didn't stop 'Mr. Fix-it' of Turtle Creek

Jason Cato
| Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, 11:00 p.m.
Robert P. 'Stix' Toth, 74, died Monday, Jan. 18, 2016.
Robert P. 'Stix' Toth, 74, died Monday, Jan. 18, 2016.

His lifelong use of crutches earned Bobby Toth the nickname “Stix,” which he embraced as his handle when talking to truckers and others over CB radio airwaves.

“He got to know quite a few people doing that and going to the bars with friends,” said his niece, Cris McVey Jones, 44, of Turtle Creek. “He wanted everyone to laugh and smile. That was his goal.”

Robert P. Toth, a resident of the John Fraser Hall in Turtle Creek, died Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. He was 74.

The son of Paul Toth and Helen Toth, as well as his stepmother, Theresa Toth, Mr. Toth was born with cerebral palsy, but he lived a long, active and independent life.

Growing up in Braddock and later North Braddock, Mr. Toth learned from his father how to work on cars and radios, as well as how to hand-carve wood.

“He was a handyman,” Jones said. “He was ‘Mr. Fix-it' of the family.”

It might take some time and ingenuity, but Mr. Toth would get whatever was broken working again, said his nephew, Eric Kostelnik, 41, of West Mifflin.

“He could always get it fixed,” Kostelnik said. “Sometimes it was with gum bands or duct tape, but he got it fixed.”

Mr. Toth enjoyed carving wooden chains, model cars and horse-pulled wagons — the latter a nod to his favorite movie genre.

“He loved Westerns, and John Wayne was his favorite actor,” Kostelnik said. “Any time he left the house, he'd throw a cowboy hat on.”

He liked to garden, growing horseradish, onions and kohlrabi.

He also enjoyed fishing and going on fishing trips, which included visits to Maryland, Florida and Canada.

“He said Canada was God's country,” Jones said. “It was the most beautiful place he ever saw.”

Mr. Toth is survived by a sister, Donna McVey of Turtle Creek.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, East Pittsburgh. A blessing service will be held at the funeral home at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Memorials may be made to United Cerebral Palsy of Pittsburgh, 1501 Ardmore Blvd., Suite 102, Pittsburgh, PA 15221.

Jason Cato is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7936 or jcato@tribweb.com.

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