He was born in White Plains, New York and grew up in Rye, New York. Peter was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Rye High School in 1951. He then went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a three-year letterman in varsity lacrosse and a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. In 1957 Peter received his MBA from Harvard University while continuing to play lacrosse with the Boston Lacrosse Club. He remained active in MIT alumni matters for over 50 years including many years on the Educational Council, which counsels high school applicants, 25th Reunion Gift Chair, Class President and Class Stewardship Agent. Peter fostered lifelong friendships with his MIT schoolmates, especially his Sigma Nu fraternity brothers.
In 1957 he began his career of 39 years in the petrochemical and plastics industry as a sales trainee for Shell Chemical Company in New York City. He spent more than 20 years with Shell in marketing and manufacturing positions before joining Gulf Oil Chemicals in 1979 and retiring from Chevron Chemical in 1996. Peter was a member of the Flexible Packaging Association’s board of directors from 1984 until his retirement, and he was also on the board of directors of the Society of the Plastics Industry from 1994 to 1996.
As his career successes and opportunities grew, Peter helped his family move to new homes in New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas. They settled in Houston in 1972 and, for Peter, Houston was home. He loved the city, was a loyal fan of its sports teams, and enjoyed many treasured friendships. With every move over the years, Peter remained steadfast in his deep sense of duty and service to his church and community. He was an active member of the St. John Vianney Catholic Church Parish Council, the Marietta College Board of Trustees, a leader in local Boy Scout Councils, as well as a past member of Lakeside Country Club.
Faith, family, and friendships were cornerstones for Peter throughout his life. The love and support for his wife, Jane, and his immediate and extended family was unconditional. And Peter’s wise, respectful, and kindhearted guidance was often sought and proved valuable to many. Celebrations and gatherings with friends and family both at home and away were a joy for Peter, especially during summers on Cape Cod. He had a warm, welcoming smile for everyone he encountered and a quiet confidence that immediately put people at ease.
Peter’s strong faith was ever-present in his life, and it showed nearly every day through his acts and deeds. In recent years that faith, along with his positive attitude, carried Peter through myriad health challenges. He faced those challenges head-on, with the same determination and courage that time and again marked his many achievements in life. Peter never stopped helping and thanking others, and his grace, along with a deep gratitude and respect for his doctors, nurses and caregivers, will be remembered with that rare level of fondness reserved for the kindest of gentlemen.
Peter was preceded in death by his parents, John Joseph and Loretta Hughes Toohy; and his brothers, J. Thomas and Rev. Msgr. William J. Toohy. He is survived by his loving wife, Jane Sullivan Toohy; his twin sister, Margaret Toohy Sweeney and her husband Robert of Rye, New York, and sister, Mary Toohy Hyson of Greenwich, Connecticut; daughters, Nora Brooks and her husband Richard, Kate English and her husband Dave, and Sheila Berggren and her husband Dan. In addition, he is survived by his beloved grandchildren, Emily English Leake and her husband Sean, Jack English, Carolyn Brooks, David Brooks, Catherine Brooks Giuffre and her husband Dean, Katie Berggren; his great-grandson, Henry Leake; as well as many wonderful nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial is to be offered at two o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, the 28th of January, at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Road in Houston.
Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception at a venue to be announced during the service.
In lieu of customary remembrances, please consider memorial contributions in Peter Toohy’s name to the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 2225 N Loop W, Houston, TX, 77008.