What happened to the "Coach?"



The one main Tosebo fixture was Anton "Coach" Roskie. I believe he continued at the camp after my time (1956-58) and into the 60's.

Does anyone know when he finally left, and under what circumstances? What he did later? Any other info?

I think either Marc Smith or Dave Wallace said that he died only a few years ago.


Fully vaccinated are you?
Probably Dave. I remember him - so he must have been there in 1960 - but I don't know when he died. Maybe it was in one of the early e-mails that were going back and forth. I'll try to get to some of them this weekend and 'distill' them and post them here.

Strong Bow


I remember it was always a mystery to figure out how old Coach must have been. With the Web I solved my mystery. Coach was born December 21, 1905 and died in Woodstock, IL (where else) on January 26, 1995. He was still there when I worked at Camp in 1967 with Miss Kay helping in the Trunk House. I'm not sure - I think he was there a couple more years after that. DDW


From Jerry "Chief Black Magic" Hudson 1956-1960

Here's a story you may not be aware of. Orson Welles
made a movie shortly after WWII called "The Stranger,"
in it, a character walks though a gymnasium and on the
wall is a sign that says (paraphrasing, here) "please
be sure you put the athletic equipment away when you're
done, coach Roskie." I saw the film for the first time
in the 80's and was with some other people at the
time. Naturally I fell out of my chair when I saw
Coach's name, I babbled to my friends, "I know Coach
Roskie, I've got pictures of me with Coach Roskie!"
I'm sure they all thought I was crazy. But it was a
special moment, let me tell you.

Obviously, Welles was just paying tribute to a man who
meant a great deal to him when he was a boy at Todd.
Just an absolutely wonderful moment. I think you


More on the Coach from Jerry Hudson:

Roskie was one of the handful of people who had a
profound impact on my life and yours to, probably.
Remember he had some Todd recordings that he would
occasionally play on the turntable in the craft shop?
It was probably the Todd glee club, and I recall some
song that mentioned Roskie by name.

Another Roskie memory just popped into the reader.
Remember the joy and skill he would bring to the
mundane task of slicing watermelon? Either at a picnic
on the hill or when we made the trek to Lake Michigan
to go skinny dipping. He was so pround of his ability
to cut the smallest possible piece to make the melon
last longer. Sort of like the aunts at a wedding
cutting the cake: pieces you can read through. You'd
get this tiny, two-bite piece of melon and be so happy
you had it. Coach had cut if for you. Amazing.


And more from Jerry Hudson:

Ahhhh, Coach's lighter. I remember being endlessly
fascinated by that thing. He was the first pipe smoker
I'd ever been around and the entire ritual of fiddling
with the reamers, and tampers and lighters just
enthralled me. That lighter was like some sort of

Murdoch Campbell

Coach Roskie could handle and assuage any problem with smooth finesse. I recall a situation when Jimmy Larson and I were living in tent 8. It was after dark and obviously after taps. I cannot recall the name of the counselor on duty, but he was a "one-timer" and rather strict. Jimmy and I were generally cutting up, laughing and telling jokes. This counselor warned us that he would not tolerate our talking, or else. Well that threat only motivated us and we continued with our oppositional behavior. After numerous threats, warnings and multiple push-ups, the counselor dragged me out of bed, in my pajamas, and marched me down the hill to Coach's house. All the while he's telling me how angry Coach will be that we had to awaken him, that I'd probably loose all my good camper honors for the season, most likely will be sent home and, if not, will be shoveling manure for the rest of the summer. I pleaded mercifully and unsuccessfully for a chance to redeem myself. Unbelievably we knocked on Coach's front door and he answered. I was mortified and certain this was the end of my camping career. The counselor described my transgressions to Coach. Coach simply and calmly asked me to tell him one of my jokes. I couldn't believe it! I dutifully told him a joke but Coach didn't laugh. He simply replied that the joke was not very good and obviously I needed sleep. So go back to bed, get a good rest and maybe tomorrow you can tell me a good joke. What a "smooth" operator--no anger, no threats. Naturally I wasn't ever going to break a rule which would bring me in front of Coach again--he gave me another chance and got me to behave as he desired.


I remember Coaches pipe lighter - a cylinder about 4" long - approximately 1" diameter -- the flame appeared through a hole at midpoint. Cherry Blend was the brand of tobacco. I liked to stand downwind when he was lighting up.

Neil Suits

I know that Coach meant a lot to most campers. I had heard that he was a gifted athlete; however, when I was at Tosebo he was quite old so this wasn’t evident. During softball games one of the counselors, Steve Christian, could come close to hitting the crafts building. I heard that in his prime, Coach could hit the roof. Below is more evidence of Coach’s athletic and coaching ability.

This is from the:
Forester Athletic Hall of Fame
Inducted 1974

Anthony C. Roskie ‘29

Growing up in Rockford, Illinois, Anthony attended Rockford High School. He was a forward on the basketball team that placed second in a National basketball tournament. He entered Lake Forest in 1925 and lettered all four years in football, basketball and baseball. Toney, a physics major, was also a member of Phi Pi Epsilon.
Graduating in 1929, he took a position as a coach and teacher at Todd school for Boys in Woodstock, Illinois, eventually serving as Athletic Director. In 1929 he also became the director of Camp Tosebo in Manistee, Michigan, a summer camp, and help the position for 42 years. In 1930 he married Catherine Held ’27. The following year he started a semi-professional basketball team and coached the team as well as being a player. While at Todd, Anthony compiled a 240-147 record for his football teams. In 1953 he became Athletic Director and head coach at Woodstock Community High School.
Anthony’s service when beyond coaching and teaching. Along with serving as an Elder of his church and being appointed to the executive board of the Alumni Board of Directors, he was a founder of McHenry County College, organized in 1968. In 1971 he was voted Woodstock Citizen of the Year. In his honor, the Toney Roskie award was established by Woodstock High School to be awarded to the most outstanding athlete of the year. In 1973 the Illinois High School Athletic Coaches Association honored Anthony for outstanding achievement in guidance of young men and in 1974 he received an awarded for distinguished service from the Northern Illinois Officials Association. He was named to the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player in 1977 and a coach in 1979. In 1982 a pavilion at Woodstock City Park was name in honor of Anthony by the Lions Club and the City Council. This information can be found at

Neil Suits 1964-66
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