I attended my first National Instructors' Seminar in Chicago this April. Shihan Toyoda and his students were celebrating the grand opening of the AAI headquarters dojo. The spirit was exuberant, the mats incredibly crowded. During the seminar, and at the fundraising dinner that Saturday night, he seemed extremely content. He recognized me at the seminar as one of Ned Danieley's students and complimented me on finally wearing a brown belt (I'd been at sankyu for quite a long time).
I didn't know him personally, but I felt the personal instruction that Mr. Sharpe refers to -- corrections that came with either a laugh or a "Who's your teacher?" (at which point you'd gulp and wonder which of the other senseis attending the seminar you might attribute your error to). I had hoped that one day he would be complimenting me on finally wearing the hakama (before correcting my technique). I'm saddened that this is no longer possible, and I'll miss his expansive spirit.
My sympathies to his family and his students, and my prayers for the leaders of the AAA/AAI as we move forward.