Mary Louise Toomey
February 23, 1931 – March 31, 2021
A life is measured not so much in the number of years, but in the moments that make up those years.
For Mary Louise Fitzsimons Toomey, her 90 years were full of many wonderful moments. Mary passed away peacefully in the afternoon of March 31st with her four sons Patrick, Michael, Thomas, and Matthew by her side.
From her hometown of Detroit, Michigan to San Diego, California where she made her home for over 60 years, Mary’s life was full. Her job as a reservation agent for American Airlines brought her to California in the mid-50s when she decided to transfer to the San Diego office. She made her first home at the Patrician Manor (aka the “Patty Manor”) on Sunset Cliffs where she established many life-long friendships and a love of SoCal life. On a weekend singles trip to Las Vegas in 1959, a meeting with a young real estate broker named Bernard Toomey led to marriage a year later. They were married at St. Agnes Church in Point Loma, which remained their life-long parish. The 1960s were a busy time for Mary with the birth of her four sons, raising them on Point Loma, where she became an active part of the community. As her children grew, she got involved in school activities like running Halloween carnivals and being a PTA member. In the summer months, she helped run backyard swim programs, ensuring local children of all ages learned to swim.
Mary always had a fascination with the natural world, which she passed down to her four sons and six grandchildren. From an early age, she introduced them to tide-pooling, fishing, digging for clams, and helped them overcome their fear of snakes and spiders. She especially loved bird watching and became quite knowledgeable of the birds in San Diego county. She was a docent at the Scripps Aquarium and volunteered for many years at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Whether hiking in the Cuyamaca mountains or snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez, Mary embraced everything above and below the water. In the last few years at Casa de Manana in La Jolla, Mary never tired of going to see the sea lions at the cove and watch the pelicans and seagulls fly above.
Adventure was Mary’s true middle name and she always up for exploring new places. Some of the best adventures she had were with her four boys in a VW van driving back to northern Michigan for summers with her family. The road from San Diego to Michigan and back was never the same and it was a wonderful way to show her children the country. Mary and her boys camped along the way and became experts in pitching tents and cooking on a Coleman stove. In winter months, Mary piled her family into the van and headed to Mammoth to ski, a sport she loved well into her 80s. Some of Mary’s biggest adventures were had in Baja California. Her week on the Tony Reyes, a Mexican fishing boat, sailing the Sea of Cortez became an annual event. Her love of Mexico ran deep, and her house was full of mementos from her many trips south of the border. She loved traveling on trains and enthusiastically volunteered with the San Diego Railroad Museum on their train trips from Campo to Baja. Mary’s travels were not limited to Mexico. She explored other places in the world with friends and family such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Switzerland, Austria, China, Russia, Botswana, England, and Vietnam to name a few.
Family was very important to Mary or “Weezie” as she was known to her relatives. She was the oldest of six children and remained close to all of her siblings throughout her life. Summers in northern Michigan were an opportunity for Mary’s sons to bond with their many aunts, uncles, and cousins. These family summers together were a tradition for Mary and all her family, a tradition that continues with a new generation today. In addition to her four sons and six grandchildren, Mary is survived by her sisters Janette and Francis, twin brothers Peter and Paul, a loving daughter-in-law Holly, and 17 nieces and nephews.
Mary never knew a stranger. Making friends came easy to her and the many she made in her 90 years is a tribute to her gregarious, out-going personality. Her joyful spirit had a way of making one feel good just to be around her. Her love of others was contagious and she cultivated friends of all ages and walks of life. Mary was involved in many groups both formal and informal: the Wednesday Club, Camp Stevens, Bookclubs, Boogie Boarders, Wine Ladies, the Sisters of the Solstice Hiking Club, and many more. One group she was proud to be a part of was the Peninsula Y, where she was an active board member for many years. Her dedication to building strong communities was reflected in all her hard work she did with the Y. For the last six years, Mary lived at Casa de Manana where she made new friends among residents and staff. The loving care she received from the nurses is a reflection of the love she gave to people and how much she appreciated people.
Mary Toomey will be missed by many. Her love and warmth, her sense of adventure, and her optimism infected all she met. The depth of sorrow we feel at her passing is reflective of the immense joy she brought to so many. A memorial service for Mary will be held at St. Agnes Catholic Church in the Point Loma area of San Diego on May 11th at 10:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mary’s memory to the T. Claude and Gladys B. Ryan Family YMCA (formerly the Peninsula Y), Camp Stevens, or the Charlevoix Historical Society.
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
St. Agnes Catholic Church
Mary Louise Toomey
April 17, 2021
Mary was always a kick to be around, she could find fun anywhere she went and would make you laugh till your sides hurt at the stories she had to tell.
One of the best cousins I have ever known and had always valued the time we spent together.
I miss her tremendously and will forever remember her loving smile, love of adventure and the happiness that always followed in her wake.
With whole hearted sympathy,
Lois & Ed Peruta