John Eugene O’Toole

John Eugene O’Toole

August 23, 1928 - April 09, 2021

John Eugene O’Toole

August 23, 1928 - April 09, 2021

Obituary

John Eugene O’Toole

John Eugene O’Toole was born at home in 1928 in Louisburgh, County Mayo, Ireland, to Austin and Bridget O’Toole. He was the eldest of 7 children. Eugene received his primary education at the boys’ school in Louisburgh and secondary education at St. Jarlath’s boarding school in Tuam, where he was sent at the age of 12. Gene would recount many stories from his time there, which he described as spartan and challenging, particularly under the conditions of World War II.

Upon completion of his years at St. Jarlath’s, he made a commitment to study for the priesthood in the diocese of Los Angeles, California. He began his studies in Dublin at All Hallows Seminary and then transferred to St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California. After five years of study, he was ordained to the priesthood on September 22, 1951. He was assigned to many parishes and began his high school teaching career at St. Monica’s, the diocesan minor seminary, and Pius X High School. During this time, he completed Masters degrees in Classical studies and Education. In 1969, Gene made the decision to leave the active ministry and became an educator at Tustin High School, where he worked as teacher, counselor, and assistant principal until 1992. An avid reader, learner, and gifted teacher with a keen intellect, he maintained friendships with former students throughout his life.

Gene married his wife, Joan, in 1970. God blessed them with 50 years of marriage.

For the rest of his life, his deep faith and sense of vocation found expression in his work at St. John Neumann Parish in Irvine, California, to which he belonged since its inception in 1978. Gene founded and directed the Religious Education program, many Bible study groups, and the RCIA program there, bringing many more parishioners into the fold. He found tremendous value and satisfaction in teaching and dialogue around faith, including outreach through a number of local ecumenical and interfaith programs, notably co-founding a book study group with St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine.

Gene passed away in April after a lengthy battle with cancer. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son (John), daughter (Elizabeth), 2 granddaughters (Charlotte and Fiona), three siblings (Colm, Kathleen and William), and many nieces and nephews.

Vigil Service

  • Date & Time: May 7, 2021 (7:00 PM)
  • Venue: St. John Neumann Catholic Church
  • Location: 5101 Alton Parkway Irvine, CA 92604 - (Get Directions)

Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: May 8, 2021 (10:00 AM)
  • Venue: St. John Neumann Catholic Church
  • Location: 5101 Alton Parkway Irvine, CA 92604 - (Get Directions)

Graveside Service

  • Date & Time: May 8, 2021 (11:30 AM)
  • Venue: Holy Sepulcher Catholic Cemetery
  • Location: 7845 E. Santiago Canyon Orange, CA 92869 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (714) 532-6551

No Charities & Donations

No Videos

36 responses to John Eugene O’Toole

  1. God Bless Gene and all the family. A wonderful man, who loved his family so much and lived a wonderful life. We know he will be missed, sending our love to all the family.

  2. /Some of us have the opportunity to meet someone who will change our lives in a profound way. Gene was my Latin III teacher and then my counselor at Pius X High School. After getting PSAT results, he called me in his office and asked me what my plans were for after high school graduation. As one of six children of a man who owned a small barber shop, I had no financial resources for going to college. With a great deal of help from Gene, I applied for many scholarships and to several colleges, making it possible for me to attend and graduate from the University of San Francisco. Gene and USF changed the trajectory of my life, for which I am incredibly grateful. I am very glad that I had and took the opportunity to thank Gene and to tell him what he had done for me when my husband and I visited Gene and Joan while in Southern California for my 50th Pius X reunion. Having known Gene, I am sure that there are many of us with similar stories.

Leave A Condolence

Choose a Candle