JUDGE MATHIAS: I now call upon Robert W. McChesney, Jr. to speak in memory of John J. Toomey.
MR. McCHESNEY: Judge Mathias, members of the Court, Father Brown, friends and special friends and Mrs. Toomey and family.
I do appreciate the opportunity to make these few remarks in memory of our good friend John Toomey and I apologize or am sorry for the necessity to be so brief, skim over so much so quickly.
John’s family and mine live on opposite sides of the same street and when on August 28th he died so suddenly at age sixty, not so different in age from myself, I found myself thinking for myself and for John and his family that most of us before we reach age sixty many times will ask ourselves what does it really all amount to, and then I asked myself and I imagine John asking himself, well, by what standards will we judge? Financial status? John certainly achieved that. By the prestige or professional prominence that one achieves practicing law or in any other fashion? And certainly he achieved that, too. He was a highly respected member of the bar in the District and our here in Montgomery County for over thirty years and had a very honorable and a very productive and effective practice. He was a very wise and understanding Judge of our Orphan’s Court. Or would we measure service? And John served in so many ways. He served every day of his life. He served his church. He served and was active in the Democratic Party and civic affairs generally. He served the fellow members of his church and the community, young and old alike. So again you would have to come to a very affirmative answer. His work there was constant and most strenuous. His performance as a family man? He and his wife Betty brought to loving and fruitful maturity their six sons and daughters. Solid citizens all. And their love for him and their love for each other from across the street over twenty years spoke very plainly and impressively of success in that arena as well.
And so he from my vantage point asking myself the questions that I thought he might ask himself in those moments of reflection, self-examination and evaluation couldn’t come up with anything but very positive answers, I’m happy to say, and so he achieved in all those areas, but as I say a neighbor of over twenty years, a very close neighbor and friend, it seems to me that there was another factor that overrode all these in that to me it appears as a unique goodness in a man.
Now, John would very frequently appear at a neighbor’s door with friendly words in a circumstance that seemed to call for some support or a gift. Some holly he had cut at Christmastime and would share. A cake for a family birthday. Or just as I say some supporting words.
John loved to play Santa for the little ones by telephone calling the youngsters and saying that he was Santa calling and he continued to enjoy that for some time after the children knew that they were talking to Santa Toomey. They would play the game and he would play the game and it was always enjoyed by everybody. But I never did know how he got his work done in the yard because everyone passing by knew John, John knew them, they wanted to chat and John was never in too big a hurry. He would stop, listen to what they had on their minds and offer his support, his suggestions.
So I would say, if I may, that John was a huge success at what they world may well need as much as anything and that is that loving, that living, a generous loving kindness for all with whom he had contact. The world which knew John Toomey will be forever richer for his having been a part of it and I move the Court to spread these remarks on the record as a permanent memorial to John Toomey.
JUDGE MATHIAS: Thank you, Mr. McChesney, and I will respond for the bench.
John J. Toomey was a neighbor of mine for many years until his untimely death. We were always the best of friends. His death was a personal loss.
John was highly regarded in his profession. He was a leader in church and civic activities. He was very prominent in the work of the Holy Redeemer Church in Kensington. In the Kensington area where he lived we miss him as a friendly neighbor. And to this bar his death is a great loss.
We will enter on the permanent records of this court these remarks in memory of John J. Toomey.
I call now upon Judge John Mitchel for remarks.
JUDGE MITCHELL: Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that we would be remiss, speaking of my colleagues as well as myself, if we did not extend a deep, deep thank you to my good friend Judge Stanley Klavan of the Distrrict Court who implemented this program, organized this program, set forth the format which is the paper program before you today. Thank you, Stanley.
JUDGE MATHIAS: May I ask that we all rise and I will now call upon Father Brown to pronounce the benediction.
JUDGE MATHIAS: For the record, we stand adjourned.
(Whereupon, the above proceedings were concluded at 5:00 p.m.)