Toney family matriarch dies at 95

Rosemary Toney was bookkeeper for The Folsom Telegraph, which she and her husband owned
By: Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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Longtime Folsom resident and former bookkeeper for the Telegraph, Rosemary Edythe Miller, passed away April 9 at 95. She was best known in town as Rosemary Toney, wife of the late Cliff Toney, onetime owner and publisher of the Folsom Telegraph for nearly 20 years. She was born Sept. 6, 1915, in Columbus, Minn., to Bruce and Florence Boody. She moved to California as a young girl, graduating from Herbert Hoover High School in Glendale. She married Cliff Toney in 1939. The couple owned The Solano Republican newspaper in Fairfield, now the Daily Republic, until 1961. They moved to Folsom after purchasing the Telegraph in 1962, and owned and operated the local paper until the late 1970s when it was sold to the Sacramento Union. The paper is currently owned by Brehm Communications, Inc. Rosemary Toney was bookkeeper during the years prior to her family selling the publication. She was an active member of the Folsom Garden Club and the Orangevale Women’s Club, and enjoyed bridge, knitting, gardening, bingo and dancing. “She was one of my customers at Lucky’s and she was a very gracious person,” said Madeleine Moseley, 83, a checker for the store for 27 years and a longtime Folsom resident. “She was a very … private person because Cliff was all over the place.” According to her son Steve Toney, Rosemary was an interesting lady. “She loved to go ballroom dancing and play bingo,” he said. “She was a fun lady until dementia set in. Every time I went to see her for the last year or two, when she started getting (dementia), I asked her how she was doing and she’d say, ‘Not bad for an old lady.’” He said his mother wasn’t afraid to experience life. “She’d try anything,” he said. “My mom even bowled in a local league.” Rosemary Younts, who served as editor for the Telegraph in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, used to work for the Toney family. “Cliff was truly dedicated to the news business and taught me much of what I’ve carried through my entire career,” Younts said. She currently works for Mercy Hospital as the community benefit director. “I still think fondly of those days when I worked there,” she said. “Back then I took my own photos, wrote my stories and pasted up my pages.” She said she formed a bond with the family. “The family was truly dedicated to Folsom and the newspaper,” she said. Folsom resident George Econome, 76, fondly recalls his interactions with the family. “She was a wonderful lady. She was active in the chamber with us and Cliff was very instrumental in bringing people together,” Econome said. “She was a wonderful hostess and they were just great people. They brought a lot of vision to the town.” Econome said her husband, Cliff, was so front-and-center that Rosemary often kept to the background. “Cliff was such a verbal guy that she never had much to say — Cliff was saying it all,” Econome chuckled. “He was the quintessential journalist. He was such a characteristic journalist. He made a great team with Jack Kipp. He had a lot of the vision and Jack had a lot of the connections. He wanted Sutter Street (to be revitalized) and (Jack) wanted an active chamber. They were fun times. She knew what was going on.” She is survived by her daughter, Rae Anne Stackpole, and sons, Steve, Dan and his wife Kathleen; her seven grandchildren, Leigh Stackpole, Julie Thomas, Jeff Toney, Dan Toney, Molly Hollingsworth, Justin Toney and Clare Toney.  She is also survived by four great grandchildren — Travis Hall, Henry Thomas, Scout and Kathleen Hollingsworth. In addition to Cliff Toney, she was preceded in death by two husbands — Ed Stotz and David Miller, whom she married later in life. The family is planning a private memorial service in May.