The Obit For Bill Tosheff

NBA pension fighter, Gary native Tosheff, dead at 85

Monday, October 3, 2011

More than 100 former NBA players had Bill "Tosh" Tosheff to thank for saving them from emotional despair and financial ruin.

The 1944 Froebel grad had spent the past 23 years fighting to secure pensions for three- and four-year pre1965 veterans excluded from the league's pension plan.

As a one-man crusade, Tosheff was able to get them more than $5.5 million in pension money and catch-up checks.

Tosheff died from cancer Saturday in Hawaii. The San Diego resident was 85.

"Dad had been bed-ridden for about four months," Alex Tosheff said. "He was resting comfortably (Saturday), closed his eyes, and went. It was about as peaceful way to go as possible.

"My dad was always true to his nature. He fought for what he believed in and never compromised. He was a fighter ... unapologetically himself."

A member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and honored by NBA Commissioner David Stern at the 2009 All-Star Game in Las Vegas, Bill Tosheff is survived by sons Alex, Steve and Bill, a daughter Michelle.

A small family gathering will be held in his memory in Koloa, Hawaii.

"Dad was tenacious and he felt there was a wrong that had to be righted," Alex said of the early pension oversight. "It was a calling."