Margaret Elaine "Bubs" (Pumphrey) Tobey

June 2, 1933 ~ January 20, 2021 (age 87)


Margaret Elaine “Bubs” Tobey passed away peacefully in Roanoke, VA on January 20, 2021.  She was 87 years old and is survived by her three children: Mark (Dinah), James (Eivy), and Judith (Steve); eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


She was born on June 2, 1933 to Fred and Gladice Pumphrey who nick-named her “Bubs” for the bubbles she would blow from her mouth as a baby.  It was also an appropriate name as she grew older because of her “bubbly” personality.  Bubs was always smiling, upbeat and filled with laughter and joy.


She was the youngest of four children: her sisters Betty Ruth and Pat, and her brother Jim made up the Pumphrey family.  In High School she made friends easily and was on the Cheerleader Team in Gainesville, FL.  She went on to study nursing at Vanderbilt University, joining the AWF sorority as well as the swim team.  During her senior year at Vanderbilt she met Joel Nye Tobey, a paratroop Army officer from Barrington, RI.  They quickly fell in love, were married, and moved to Augsburg, Germany where Mark and Jim were born.  Upon their return to the United States in 1959 they took up residence in Riverside, RI and Joel began working for AMICA Insurance.  It was during this time in Riverside that Judith was born.


The family moved to Severna Park, MD in 1965 as part of Joel’s work, and later moved to Barrington, RI in 1967.  Over the years, she and Joel enjoyed sailing and skiing. In addition, Bubs enjoyed bridge, golf (scoring a hole-in-one!), tennis, bowling, the Barrington Women’s Club, and especially following her New England Patriots and caring for her cocker spaniels. As the children went off to college, Bubs worked part-time in nursing.  Upon retirement, she and Joel enjoyed spending the winter months in Naples, FL.


In 2018 Bubs moved to Roanoke, VA, close to her daughter, Judith and her family.


An outdoor Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, February 27, at 11:00 am at Forest Chapel Cemetery in Barrington, RI, prior to her interment.  In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. 


Graveside Service
February 27, 2021

11:00 AM
Forest Chapel Cemetery, Barrington

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