Brian O’Toole, who touched countless lives over the years, died last week at his home in Aberdeen. He was 64, though the twinkle in his eye and his big grin made it clear he was much younger at heart.
His fantasy sports family and the Hazlet Softball League knew him as “The Commish.” To his wife and children, he was simply “best friend.”
Brian was born on Oct. 31, 1957—a date he used to his advantage every Halloween to get double the amount of candy while trick-or-treating. He grew up in Hazlet and attended St. Leo’s in Lincroft, St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel, and Seton Hall University.
At Seton Hall, Brian served as president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, managed the campus pub, and cultivated a mischievous streak by repeatedly stealing the school flags—which are still on display in his truly impressive “man cave” at home.
After graduation, he went to work for Rockwell International before being hired by AT&T, where he spent 40 years working in sales and marketing and loved his job so much that he retired—and then went back.
He did not have to go far to meet the love of his life. He spotted Cathy the day she moved into the house next door, helping to haul things out of the moving van, and decided then and there, “I am going to marry her.”
He was so besotted with her that he kept stealing the trailer stairs of another suitor, and once defended her honor with such ferocity that he couldn’t show his face in Romeo’s Pizza for years.
He and Cathy were married on May 15, 1982, and they went on to have two children, Kasey and Billy, both of whom had an incredibly special relationship with Brian and considered him their best friend.
A sports fanatic, Brian coached his kids in softball and soccer. He was everyone’s favorite referee and umpire because he didn’t scold; he explained. He became the adult the kids turned to for advice or for help when they got in a jam. “I won’t tell your parents—as long as you don’t do it again,” he would tell them.
Brian enjoyed camping with his family, watching “Lord of the Rings” with his siblings and family as a Christmas tradition and playing Dungeons & Dragons. His love of all things sports extended beyond youth athletics, and he was also the owner of the Dublin Stars fantasy baseball franchise. The name, of course, sprung from his love of Ireland.
He and Cathy were planning a summer trip to Ireland to mark their 40th anniversary. The goal was to visit five castles, and Brian was set on climbing Croagh Patrick in County Mayo and had been training for the 2,500-foot pilgrimage.
Although Brian will not make it to the top of “the Reek,” he has left behind a lifetime of other precious memories. And the love he showed every day for Cathy, Kasey and Billy will live on—as the Saw Doctors sing in “Green and Red of Mayo”—forever more.
Brian was predeceased by his adoring parents, Martin and Margaret (McDonnell) O’Toole, and his beloved dogs Max, Riley, Bailey, Happy, and Freebird, who is possibly the only dog in history with a police record. He is survived by his beloved and devoted wife of 39 years, Cathy (Costello) O’Toole, his loving children, Kasey and Billy O’Toole, and his dear siblings, Eileen O’Toole, Nuala Laquidara and her husband, Frank, and Brendan O’Toole and his wife, Lori, his adoring niece Kelly and nephews Matt, Luke, and Connor; and many cousins in the U.S. and Ireland.
Family and friends are invited to visit on Monday, April 18, 2022 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM and 7:00 to 9:00 PM and Tuesday morning, April 19, 2022 from 8:45 to 9:30 AM at Shore Point Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 3269 State Highway/Route 35 North, Hazlet, New Jersey 07730. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for Brian on Tuesday morning, April 19, 2022 at 10:00 AM at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, 727 Highway 36, Union Beach, New Jersey 07735. Interment will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 100 Chapel Hill Road, Middletown, New Jersey 07701.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Special Olympics of New Jersey are welcomed. Every year, Brian would plunge into the freezing Atlantic Ocean with fellow members of Team Shrinky Dinks to raise money for this cause. That’s just the kind of guy he was—and one of the many reasons we will miss him forever more. Please mention Brian O’Toole when making a donation. To donate, visit, https://www.sonj.org/get-involved/ways-give/donate/. For information, directions, or to send condolences to the family, please visit, www.shorepointfh.com.
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