Cover photo for Toni Jo Britton's Obituary
Toni Jo Britton Profile Photo
1944 Toni 2023

Toni Jo Britton

January 7, 1944 — July 19, 2023

Toni Jo Britton (Graff), beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, and widow, has returned home on July 19th, 2023 to be with her husband Ronald Leslie Britton, her mother Hazel Graff and father Henry Graff, and her beloved pets that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

 

Toni succumbed to a 10 year battle with non-small cell lung cancer, (non-smoking). Initial treatment of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, left her cancer free for several years. Once it came back, a regimen of daily chemo medications continued to keep the cancer at bay. However, this nasty little disease came back, as cancer does, and took her from us. She was able to pass at home under Hospice Care.

 

“I’ve lived a good long life and I’m ok with it.” she spoke proudly after the doctors had told her the news. Indeed, she was strong to live so long and independently, after losing her beloved husband and soulmate 10 years earlier to non-hodgkin's lymphoma. The word “Spitfire” was invented for Toni Jo.

 

Toni was born in Brainerd, Minnesota on January 07, 1944. This is where she was raised, and went to school. She has a younger sister Kimmie Graff and younger brother Jon Graff, as well as many cousins and extended family. Her first job was with Burlington Northern at the railroad yard in Brainerd. This is where her father and great-grandfather had worked. BN was a large employer in Brainerd at the time. Toni then married Harvey Love on January 12th, 1963. They had a girl, Desiree Dawn Love. Toni and Harvey would go on to separate, as couples sometimes do. Toni then married Ronald Leslie Britton, November 27, 1965. Together they had two sons, Leigh Ronald Britton and Aaron Dale Britton, and that would complete their family.

 

Together Toni and Ronnie and their children would move to Sandpoint, Idaho in June of 1974.

 

Toni then became a stay at home mom, learning the art of home cooking. Wild game became the main protein as Ronnie was an avid hunter, Toni learned how to cook wild game, and created delicious healthy dishes, including baking fresh breads and desserts. She was always health conscious and ensured her family ate healthy and stayed active.

 

Ronnie and Toni, upon arriving in north Idaho and settling in Sandpoint, built their first home in the Grouse Creek area. Then they opened RB Quality Construction. While Ronnie was the primary designer and builder, Toni ran the business end of things. She also did all the painting, staining, helped to hang sheetrock, cleaning, anything she could do to help. Together, with their strong work ethic, they built 30 custom homes.

 

Whatever Toni took on as a project or hobby, she would always put her whole heart into it. She would study and become an expert. She was smart and always looking for new ways to create, as she had quite an artistic side.

 

With that, Toni became an avid flower gardner, and diligently learned all about the plants and flowers in her growing region. She created magnificent landscapes that always drew attention and onlookers. Her gardens were full of splendid color.

 

Besides gardening, she had so many other hobbies and loves. She loved camping, exploring the great NW, she was an avid runner for many years. She was a member of the Selle Homemakers Extension Club for many years, including serving as president. She learned her way around a computer and started a website where she shared her love for her home, “The Piney Woods”, which was built by her and her husband in the Selle area after the kids had grown and left home. On her website she shared her poetry and photography, and stories of her life with her husband, family and most of all her love of cats and kittens.

 

Toni volunteered at the Panhandle Animal Shelter for many years, where she worked with the cats and kittens. She taught other volunteers how to work with the kittens, feed, handle, etc. For many years she photographed each cat and kitten that came to the shelter, and created a personal feline bio, then posting the bio on Facebook and the shelters website. She also did the hard work with the cats and kittens, cleaning cages, and whatever needed done, she did. She also fostered 167 cats and kittens during those years. Once COVID came along and volunteers were no longer able to come into the shelter, she retired from her volunteer position. She truly loved felines, and over the course of the years, had several of her own at home. Her signature statement, though not an original quote by Toni, “Saving one cat won’t change the world, but for that one cat, the world changes forever”.

 

Once COVID came, and she was not able to volunteer but needed to fill her time, she got into adult coloring. She could extend once more, her creativity and artistry. She created 100’s of beautiful pictures.

 

This just scratches the surface of this very smart, wise, strong, creative woman we have the honor of calling mom. We love you, miss you and you will forever be in our hearts. Until we meet again. Dawn, Leigh and Aaron.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Toni Jo Britton, please visit our flower store.

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