Wilfrid E. (Wil) Toole 75, of Dupont, passed away on Friday, March 15, 2019, after a strong battle with cancer. He was fond of saying he had a full and happy life.
Wil was a 1961 graduate of St John the Evangelist High School, Pittston. He attended Luzerne County Community College, Penn State Lehman and completed a Business Administration course with LaSalle University.
After high school, he volunteered for military service with the US Coast Guard. He served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Half Moon performing patrol duty in the North Atlantic as a Boatswain mate Third Class Petty Officer. Will earned five military medals including the Navy Expeditionary Medal for taking part in a non-declared war action while in Cuba in February 1962. He finished his enlistment by serving with the Armed Forces Military Police Group stationed in Brooklyn NY and was credited by Coast Guard Intelligence with infiltrating a Brooklyn gang stealing and selling military ID cards.
His professional career consisted of a management position with Liberty Consumer Discount Company managing several local offices and obtaining the designation of Special Lending Officer, a position held by only 70 of the company's 850 national managers.
In 1975 Wil was asked to take the position of General Manager of the Del-Cap Detective Agency. He managed the day to day operation of what was then the largest private detective agency in NE PA having over a hundred full time and part time security guards with two radio dispatched patrol vehicles serving the surrounding counties.
Wil left the Del-Cap to work in government. He served part time on the staff of first time Congressman Frank Harrison. He held a position in the accounting office of Luzerne County Human Resources Development Department which was the administrator of the federal CETA Program. During his employment with that agency, he was one of the founders of the current Luzerne County employee's union AFSCME Local 1398. After a breakdown in contract negotiations, the county employees went on strike for lack of good faith bargaining and Wil was a leader of the strike action. After 30 days on strike, a contract was agreed upon and Local 1398 became a certified union with Wil being elected to serve as the first president of the now certified union local 1398 of AFSCME.
Later he accepted a position as deputy to Mayor Tom Walsh of the city of Pittston. In 1988 he became the City Clerk/Administrator and was recognized by the International Association of City/County Manager's Association with the designation of "Professional Municipal Manager" status. At the same time, Pittston City was the only city in NE PA listed in Who's Who of Local Governments as being professionally managed. Wil remained in that position till a health issue caused him to retire in December of 1997. After a few years, Wil applied for and received a Pennsylvania Private Detective License and eventually earned three certifications in voice stress analysis and was accepted into the International Voice Stress Analyst Association.
He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Church, Pittston and its Holy Name Society.
His other memberships include Congressman Matt Cartwright's Advisory Committee on Veteran's Affairs, NE Pennsylvania Coast Guard Veteran's Association, US Coast Guard Sea Veterans Association, American Legion Post 477, Pittston, and VFW Post 4909, Dupont. He was also a member and past president of the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, Co-Founder of Order and Fourth Degree Member of Ancient Order of Hibernians, Knights of Columbus John F. Kennedy Council 372 and its Fourth Degree Assembly and previously as a young teen was a member of the K of C Columbian Squires.
His charitable activities included St. John the Evangelist Food Pantry and Wellness Center Continual Fund Raising, 1991-95 Chairman Local Annual Fund Raiser for St. Jude's Children Hospital, 1979-91 Past President and Board of Directors for the Luzerne County Full Year Head Start Program, 1973-85 Annual Special Olympics Creator Chairman for Greater Pittston Jaycee's, 1978-80 Union Labor's Representative and Member Allocation Committee for the United Way.
His civic organizations included currently the Sierra Club, June 2012 President of the Allardyce Park Association Chaired park re-dedication and transfer to American Legion, sponsor for the Fireman's Memorial Bridge (Water St. Bridge), 1976-2009 served as Chairman for the Greater Pittston Commercial and Industrial Development Authority, 1997-98 Finance Volunteer for Pittston City Youth Government, 1990-98 volunteer Financial consultant for the Pittston Memorial Library, 1989-94 Vice President for Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame, 1983-98 President, Co-Founder and held several chairmanships for the Pittston Tomato Festival, 1984-97 Founder and general chairman for Pittston Farmer's Market, 1978-97 Chairman Pittston City Democratic Committee, 1988-97 Luzerne County Democratic Executive Committee member, 1980-95 Chairman Third Legislative District Democratic Committee, 1996-97 Creator and Publisher of the Pittston City News Letter, 1978-87 Creator and sponsor of annual Father's Day Essay Contest for Greater Pittston Jaycee's, 1980-85 Co-founder and first president of Greater Pittston Democratic Club, 1976-81 Co-founder and first president of South Pittston Residents and Tax Payers Association, 1976-80 member of Board of directors and coach for Pittston Panthers Mini Football Association, 1973 -76 committee member of Boy Scouts of America, 1962-65 volunteer seamanship Instructor Staten Island NY Boy Scouts. Also International Association of Voice Stress Analyst (Three certifications), 1994-97 Founder and first president of Wyoming Valley Municipal Manager's Association and 1966-68 served as past president of Wyoming Valley Lender's Exchange.
Wil is survived by his wife, Ellen (Gregorczyk) and his former wife of many years, Carolyn Weiss Toole RN; sons, Brian and his wife, Mary Ann, Michael RN CCM and Patrick; as well as his grandson, Brian and granddaughter, Anna; sister, Mrs. Joan McKenna and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Wil was preceded in death by his father, Edmund, mother, Anna Dillon Toole RN, a brother Edmund Jr, sister, Mary Betty Allardyce, and her husband, James "Bidge" Allardyce, sister, Anita and husband, Joseph O'Malley.
Relatives and friends may pay their respects on Sunday evening, March 17th, from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M., at Baloga Funeral Home, Inc. 1201 Main Street, Pittston (Port Griffith).
A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, March 30, 2019, in St John the Evangelist Church, William St., Pittston, to be celebrated by Fr. Louis A. Grippi. Everyone is asked to go directly to the church the morning of the mass.
Military services will be conducted by AMVETS Honor Guard of Greater Pittston.
The family requests flowers to be omitted. Memorial contributions may be made to the Greater Pittston Food Pantry or Care and Concern Health Clinic, 35 William Street Pittston, PA 18640 or to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959.
For directions or to send an online condolence, please visit www.balogafuneralhome.com