Former Riverhead resident Lawrence Edward Toler, known as Larry, died May 10. He was 77.
He was born Dec. 30, 1937, in Rocky Gap, Va., to Namon and Pricilla Toler.
He joined the U.S. Air Force at age 16 and, after serving for several years, attended technical school. During this time, he met and married his wife, Tomoko. They lived in Riverhead and later moved to Westhampton Beach.
Mr. Toler worked as a technical specialist in the physics department at Brookhaven National Laboratory, retiring after 34 years. In 2000 he won the Brookhaven Award for his dedication to serving the community and diversity issues.
Mr. Toler belonged to the Shriners and Masons, holding many titles and roles, including Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master Emeritus 33o. He was an active member of the Prince Hall Masonic family. He served as past patron in Tyre Chapter 62 Order of the Eastern Star. He also served the fourth Masonic District as president for several years and was High Priest in Royal East 36 Chapter. Remaining a Noble and member of Abu Beker Chapter 91, he was also a member of Long Island Consistory Chapter 61 and later became a 33rd degree Mason under the United Supreme Council.
He was an active member of Tyre Lodge Chapter 91, serving as Worshipful Master and later becoming a past master. He was awarded life membership in Tyre Lodge for his years of service. He went on to serve the Prince Hall Grand Lodge as District Deputy Grand Master, its highest appointed office, and attained the rank of District Deputy Grand Master Emeritus of Prince Hall Masons.
Mr. Toler served as secretary of the Southampton Town Planning Board and was active with the Southampton Town Republican Committee.
Family members said he loved spending time with his family and friends, playing cards, traveling, fishing, reading about politics and history and listening to all kinds of music.
Mr. Toler is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Tomoko; two daughters, Monique and Lisa; two grandsons; and two great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sisters, Geraldine, Rosetta and Inez, and his brother, Pernell.
The family will receive visitors Thursday, May 14, from to 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Alexander Tuthill Funeral Home in Wading River, where a funeral service will be held Friday, May 15, from 10 to 11 a.m. Interment will take place at Calverton National Cemetery.