Joseph L. O’Toole 1921-2013

CORTLAND – Joseph L. O’Toole, 92, Cortland, and formerly of Brookfield, passed away peacefully at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in St. Joseph Health Center, Warren.

He was born March 2, 1921, in Sharon, Pa., the son of Daniel L. and Anna B. O’Neal O’Toole.

He graduated from Sacred Heart Elementary School in 1935 and attended the Dana School of Music. He was a member of Sharon High School’s graduating class of 1939.

He graduated from the Shenango Valley Commercial School and later earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1954 from what is now Youngstown State University. He furthered his education at the Pennsylvania State University, attended both the LaSalle Business Institute and the International Accountants Society.

Joseph was an active lifelong member of Sacred Heart Church of Sharon. He served many years as a parish finance leader and PACE teacher. He headed up many fund raisers for the school building, and improvements committees, and was instrumental in organizing their St. Patrick’s Day dances. He was honored as a Knight of St. Patrick by Msgr. James Murphy in 1955.

Some of his memberships included the Knights of Columbus Council 684, Sharon, and the 4th Degree Assembly, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks for 60 years, the American Association of Musicians in both Sharon and Youngstown, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Joseph served 15 years on the Board of Directors of John XXIII Home, Hermitage, including two years as board president, and in various capacities for the United Way charities.

Joseph started as a messenger boy at Sharon Steel Corp. in 1940 and advanced to the esteemed position of assistant vice president, secretary and treasurer before retiring in 1983 after 42 years of service. He was also an officer of Sharon Steel Products Co., Joanne Coal Co., and Carpentertown Coal and Coke Co.

In 1973, he and his wife bought Roemer Industries Inc., a maker of industrial nameplates, and Joseph served as president and treasurer until selling to their son in 1986.

Joseph was part-owner and vice president of Wilson Metals Inc. from 1982 to 1986. Joseph was currently part-owner and financial vice president, secretary and treasurer of AML Industries Inc. of Warren. He also served many years as president and director of the Youngstown Association of Credit Management and in 1969 was elected as director of the National Association of Credit Management.

He enlisted in the United States Coast Guard from 1942 to 1946 and served as first class petty officer storekeeper and musician. Duty was in the 9th and 10th Naval Districts with three years overseas. During his service, he was honored to escort the first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

To say he was an accomplished musician would be an understatement. He played both saxophone and clarinet, and was a member of many local and service bands, including Benny Jones Orchestra, U.S. Coast Guard Band, Carl Bobby Orchestra, Charlie James Orchestra, Ambassadors of Swing, Gulf Coast Big Band, Dixielanders and The Music Makers Show Band. ”Moonlight Serenade” by Glenn Miller was his favorite arrangement.

His wife of 66 years, the former Faith Mary Diroll, passed away Jan. 10 of this year.

He was loving father to Joseph L. (Mary Frye) O’Toole Jr. of Brookfield, Cathy (John) Songer of Sharon, Pa., Susan (Edward) Kleinman of Philadelphia, Mary (Dave) Irish of Marysville, Faith (Scott) Kellogg of Mayfield Heights and Kevin (Marilyn) O’Toole of South Euclid. He was the proud grandfather to Patrick, John David, Jeffrey, Justin, Craig, Keith, Steven, Lea, Shawn, Erin, Meghan, Laura, Ryan, Emily, Colin and Shannon. He was the proud great-grandfather to Taylor, Braydon, Layla, Rose, Sam, Olivia, Hailey, Liam and Cassidy. He was a proud uncle and caring friend to many.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Edward D. O’Toole.

Calling hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and 9 to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory Inc., 1090 E. State St., Sharon. Condolences can be sent to his family by visiting the web site

Services are 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Church of the Sacred Heart, with the Rev. Henry C. Andrae, pastor, as celebrant. A brief prayer service will be held in the funeral home at 9:30 a.m. prior to leaving for the church.

Interment is at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hermitage, with full military honors rendered by the West Middlesex VFW Post 6233 and the Wheatland American Legion Post 432 Honor Guard.

(special notice)