Pittsburgh – Sat. August 25, 2012. At 11 AM today a funeral Mass was celebrated for Jay O’Toole at the Oratory in Pittsburgh. Jay was a teacher all his life and retired from the Great Neck Public Schools (New York).. In the early 1980’s he applied to be in the first group of volunteers on the Lower East Side of NYC. For six years he shared community with other volunteers and Brothers at La Salle Academy while helping students at Nativity and LaSalle.
A year ago, while the LVs Ride took a day off in town, we spent quality time with Jay. He shared with us some of his frustrations of not being able to help people but quite candidly admitted to his efforts at reaching out to aide other residents and staff in his Assisted Living Residence.
Thanks Jay for sharing your life with us.
Ed Phelan, FSC; Jim Ruck (LV 95-96) and Gail Britanik (LV 95-96)
J. Robert O’Toole served as a Lasallian Volunteer from 1983-1990. The following is an excerpt from the Dedication page of the 1963 Great Neck High School Yearbook, quoted by his niece Molly in her eulogy
“Many fine phrases may be used to characterize Mr. O’Toole, but one – love of life – reveals his personality to a greater extent than any other. It is his great joy in the beauty of life that has endeared him to so many, for his enthusiasm is contagious and none who come in contact with him are unaffected by the experience.”
“Mr O’Toole has a great talent for teaching: he has an almost magical flair for awakening in students the desire to learn. But his greatest gift is his boundless optimism, good humor, and, above all, his ever – present kindness, which make him a truly outstanding human being. His way, so honest to himself, so constructive to others, becomes his student’s way.”