Campus & Community

Former News Office photographer William H. ‘Bill’ Tobey dies at 77

2 min read

Wiliam H. “Bill” Tobey, 77, a photographer and filming coordinator at the Harvard University News Office starting in 1956, died on Oct. 5 at Mid Coast Hospital in Maine. Born and raised in Waterville, Maine, Tobey was a decorated World War II veteran who also served in the Korean War.

In 1949, Tobey became a reporter and photographer for the Waterville Morning Sentinel. He was also a free-lance photographer for the public relations office at Colby College and for Portland, Maine, television stations.

In 1956 Tobey joined the staff of the News Office as a photographer. In 1963 he became photo editor. From 1960 to 1962, he was adviser to the Freshman Photography Club, and assisted with the design of a photo lab in the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.

“Bill Tobey set the standard for excellence in University photography and was regarded as a role model by his peers at other universities and news organizations around the country,” said Joe Wrinn, director of news and public affairs, and a former University photographer under Tobey. “He was always remembered by anyone who met him as a perfect gentleman. Bill brought out the best in his subjects visually by making them comfortable through pleasant conversation and wry humor.”

Tobey taught photography in Winchester, Cambridge, and Brookline, Mass. He also worked as the News Office liaison for visiting photographers, media crews, and movie companies filming at Harvard. He retired in 1986.

He is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, and his son, Jon O., both of Brunswick, Maine; two daughters, Torie Ann Wolken of Lunenburg, Mass., and Kimethe Dwyer of Lithia Springs, Ga.; seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.