Daniel Bruce Toomey
This site was created in memory of Daniel Bruce Toomey, our loving husband, father, and friend.
"If you are crying… Please Stop… My life is now complete, so don’t cry for me. And don't cry for the memories. Never look back, there's too much left to do. I'm a lucky man who lived a wonderful life."
- John Grisham, Bleachers
Born in Amesbury, Massachusetts
August 9th, 1949
He was known as Dan, but also by many as Bruce, a lucky few as “Dad”, and by the love of his life, Joann, as Wicked Bad Husband (or WBH). Born on August 9th, 1949, in Amesbury Massachusetts, Dan (then known as Bruce) grew up playing baseball, and later football in high school. After graduation, he attended Northeastern University from 1967-1968 where he played baseball. Following his sense of duty and service, he enlisted in the United States Army in March of 1969, at only 19, to serve in the Vietnam War. Upon his honorable discharge in December of 1971, he returned home to Massachusetts.
After completing his military service, he returned to school and attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he graduated in 1977 with his BA in Anthropology and a minor in Computer Science. After graduation, he furthered his Army medic experience while working at Cooley Dickenson hospital. He was taking nursing courses at Greenfield Community College when he met Joann, who was attending nursing school. Their first date was a football game at Wesleyan, where his brother Brad was playing.
Bruce had been training for the New York City Marathon in October of 1977, and completed it at 3:03:41, which qualified him for the elite Boston Marathon the next year. He completed Boston in April of 1978 in 3:05:31. Bruce bought Joann her first pair of running shoes and she has been his running buddy since.
After nearly eight years of dating, they were married on August 9th, 1985 in Las Vegas, NV on his birthday, so, as Joann said "he could never forget me". They had countless adventures together. Some of Bruce's favorites include: skiing slopes in the Rockies and the Alps in Europe, a safari in Africa, and even feeding polar bears in Alaska.
Their love story is one for the ages, and the stories are endless. A paragraph simply does it no justice.
Dan's 34 year career with AT&T began in June of 1980 when he was hired by the Bell System at New England Telephone (NET). He completed the Intensive Development Program, and in 1983 he transitioned to working for AT&T ahead of the breakup of the Bell System. Throughout his career, AT&T provided professional development at MIT and other institutions. He worked in Worcester, MA (NET); Providence, RI (NET and AT&T); Boston, MA (AT&T); and five locations in New Jersey.
On December 26th, 1988, Joann and Dan welcomed Hannah, and Alex joined the family on September 8th, 1991. After nine years in New Jersey, in early 1994, AT&T offered him the opportunity to move to Alaska with a three year commitment. With potential for career advancement, and of course skiing, running, and infinite opportunities for two kids (and Griffin on the way), he accepted the position in Anchorage. The Toomey family moved to Alaska in November of 1994. Joann asked for a house with a little view on a cul-de-sac, and the rest is history.
Griffin completed the family on May 1st, 1995. The three year commitment quickly flew by, and has now turned into 27 years in Alaska as of this November. Moving to Alaska was life-altering for Dan and his family.
Dan was so proud of his family and constantly shared how privileged he was to live in, and fall in love with, Alaska. His many accomplishments are too vast to list, but here are a few things he celebrated:
The family's Bear Valley home, and all the heart and work he poured into it
Being an JROTC/ROTC, soccer, riflery, cross-country running, track and football dad
Obtaining his private pilot license in 2004
All of his travel, including visiting four continents, three with Joann
Enrolling in graduate school for Paleoanthropology after retiring and attending field school in South Africa at Drimolen, within the Cradle of Humankind
His dogs, from Cricket in Amesbury to Apollo and Chester in Anchorage, and all of the four legged family members in between
He will be remembered for many things, most of all his love and perseverance; he was an all-or-nothing guy. Honorable mentions are his love for Notre Dame football (Go Irish!), the Patriots, the Boston Red Sox, ice cream, and bacon cheeseburgers (plain and dry).
If you ever asked him what he needed, he would jokingly say "a winning powerball ticket"... I'd say we already won with the privilege of him having been in our lives.
Daniel Bruce Toomey passed away at home with family on Wednesday, October 27th at the age of 72. Dan is survived by his wife Joann Toomey (née Lequin); children Hannah (spouse Forrest Eissler), Alex (partner Heidi Hilmes), and Griffin; his sister-in-law Joan Toomey and niece and nephew, Mary and Danny Toomey of Kansas City, Missouri; cousin Maureen Cote of New Hampshire; and cousin Diane Toomey of California. He is predeceased by his mother and father, Alice and Daniel Toomey, and his brother Bradley Toomey.