Harry "Bear" Tolmen: 1938-2016

June 16, 2016

 

Harry D. Tolmen, 77, of New Carlisle, IN, passed away on Tuesday, June 7th. He was born on October 21st, 1938, in his home in New Carlisle, IN to the late William Charles and Gladys (Carr) Tolmen. 
He graduated from New Carlisle High School in 1957. He was an excellent athlete and played football, basketball, baseball and ran track. Harry's high school football coach Bill Lynch encouraged him to attend Ball State where he played baseball and football and graduated in 1961. He went on to also receive his Master of Arts in Education in 1966. His Sigma Phi Epsilon bond with brothers continued throughout his life. 
Harry began his teaching career at Western High School in 1961 where he began to coach as well. After one year he came back to teach and coach at New Carlisle High School in 1962 and continued to teach and coach when it was consolidated with Rolling Prairie and became New Prairie. Throughout his career he coached football, basketball, and baseball. 
He was the head baseball coach at New Carlisle and then New Prairie until 1977. In 1973 his baseball team compiled a record of 29-2 and ended the season ranked 4th in the state of Indiana before classes were established. He was also honored to help coach in the Indiana North/South baseball game with Ken Schreiber (LaPorte) and Jim Reinebold(Clay). 
Harry also began a career in insurance in 1981 and continued to work until his passing. While attending Ball State he needed book money and while attending a local fair he climbed into the ring and wrestled a bear. Hence the nickname "Bear", that he has been affectionately called from that point on. 
Players and students also remember him best because of the unique connection he seemed to have with all of them. 
Harry is survived by his wife Patricia (Stephens) of New Carlisle, his son Judson (Althea) Tolmen of Union Mills, two daughters Lorie (John) Simon of Goshen, IN, and Stacie (James II) Lewis from Heston, IN; by seven grandchildren: Dakota, Luke, and Sydney Simon, Olivia and Lillian Tolmen, and Jimmie and Lance Lewis; a sister, Jeanette Koehler of South Bend; two brothers, Donald (Wanda) Tolmen, of New Carlisle and Charles Richard (Barbara) Tolmen of Venice, FL; by two brothers-in-law, Mike Sinks of West Des Moines, IA and Art Mackey of South Bend; and by many nieces and nephews. 
Harry was preceded in death by seven sisters: Mary Mell, Rosetta Loomis, Ellen Sinks, Marie Swartz, Modelle Karoly, Louise Mackey, and Helen Blackston and three brothers: William, Russell, and Terry. 
A celebration of life was held at Heston Hills Event Center from 3pm to 7pm Sunday, June 12, with a memorial celebration at 6pm at the Heston Hills Event Center, 1933 E. 800 North, LaPorte, IN. 
Please make memorial contributions to the Harry "Bear" Tolmen Field Memorial Fund c/o any 1st Source Bank. To send online condolences, please visit www.kaniewski.com.

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