TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Jack Leonard Tongring

February 15, 1920 - July 5, 2022

Jack Tongring, age 102, passed away Tuesday, July 5, 2022 at Ohio Living Swan Creek. Jack was born in East Cleveland, Ohio February 15, 1920. He began playing the saxophone in dance bands while he was in high school and knew that he wanted to make music his career. He graduated from Shaw High School in 1938. He continued his education at The Ohio State University, which was then interrupted by World War II. He served in the European Theater, playing with General Simpson's 9th Army Band. After the war ended, he also served with the 2nd Army Band and traveled across the United States, playing at military bases with Mitzi Gaynor as a vocalist. He returned to OSU where he resumed his music studies. Jack was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity and Phi Mu Alpha Music Honorary and marched with The Ohio State Marching Band (TBDBITL) before graduating in 1948.

Jack married the love of his life, Irene (Wood) Tongring, in 1946. They shared 58 beautiful years together before her passing in 2004. Jack had an accomplished career in education having taught music and served as Band Director in Hicksville, Ohio, Defiance High School, DeVilbiss High School, and Whitmer High School. While teaching he was inducted into Phi Beta Mu, an honorary fraternity for band directors. He was also a member of the ASBDA and OMEA.

Jack gave private lessons well into his 80's. Among the list of career accomplishments, was serving as assistant director with the All-Ohio State Fair Band for 30 years. He played with the Toledo Symphony and the Opera Orchestra in the 50's. He also played with Music Under the Stars at the Toledo Zoo for 20 years. He entertained with area big bands Cal Warmington, Jack Runyon and Johnny Knorr. He also played for Holiday on Ice and the circus as they formed bands when they came to Toledo. He proudly had the honor of playing for Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., and Elvis Presley as well as other great musicians. Jack was a long time member of the Toledo Federation of Musicians Local 15-286. He served as an adjudicator for solo and ensemble contests in Ohio and Indiana. He was a 68-year member of Collingwood Presbyterian Church and a member/past president of the Scandinavian Club. Last year he received a 70-year member pin from the Hicksville Lodge No. 478 Masons.

Jack was honored to be inducted into the Devilbiss High School Hall of Fame (2013) and the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame (2014). In 2013, at the age of 93, he was given the privilege of flying to Washington D.C. with Honor Flight to visit the World War II memorial. Jack continued to enjoy music in his retirement at Swan Creek by directing the community choir and playing clarinet with a small combo for the residents. His life was filled with a multitude of achievements and musical performances, but it was the many lifelong friendships he had created which were held most dear. He was beloved by all who knew him.

Jack was predeceased by his parents; wife, Irene Tongring; sister, Harriet (Edwin) Frick; and brother -in-law, Wilfred (Marian) Wood. Left to cherish his memory are his children, James (Laura) Tongring of Chandler, Arizona, Jane (Kevin) Cox of Perrysburg, Ohio; four grandchildren, Julie (Bill) Novinsky of Perrysburg, Michael Welch of Freeport, Illinois, Jennifer (Tyler) Flake of Gilbert, Arizona and John Tongring of Nevada; and four great- grandchildren, Peyton, Ashton, and Karsten Flake and Emma Novinsky. He was also survived by four step-grandsons and their spouses; as well as seven step-great-grandchildren. Many loving nieces and nephews also survive.

Friends may call on Friday, July 29, 2022 from 4-7 at the Sujkowski-Walker Funeral Home, 830 Lime City Rd., Rossford. Memorial Services with be held Saturday, July 30 at 11:30 at Ohio Living Swan Creek Chapel, with additional visitation at 10:00.

The family suggests contributions to TBDBITL Scholarship Fund, The Ohio State University Foundation. PO Box 710811, Columbus, Ohio 43271-0811 or Ohio Living Foundation Swan Creek, 5916 Cresthaven Lane. Toledo, Ohio 43614.

Jack was a member of the marching band in 1947. He played Tenor horn.