SEEKONK — Philip Brennan Toole, 91, passed away peacefully surrounded by his grateful family on Sunday, July 3.
Born in Pawtucket, in 1931, Phil was the son of Frank and Clare (Coughlin) Toole. He leaves his beloved wife Jeanne (Fiore) of 63 years and two daughters, Martha Mary Murray (Michael) of Warwick and Maura Legare (Robert) of East Greenwich. He also leaves five adoring grandchildren; Michael T. Murray Jr. (Gillian), Philip T. Murray, and Robert (Sarah), Daniel and Mae Legare. He was also the proud great-grandfather of Brynn, Morgan and Emerson Murray.
Raised in Pawtucket, Phil graduated from St. Raphael Academy in 1948 and was perhaps the University of Notre Dame’s proudest graduate of the class of 1952. His lifelong love of his alma mater was a hallmark of nearly everything he did, spiritually and socially, cheering on the Fighting Irish every Saturday each fall, often in person in South Bend and at various venues throughout the country. An advertising man by trade, Phil harnessed his sharp creativity and keen intellect in a successful career that traversed the Boston and Providence markets throughout the course of his 50-plus year career in the business, finally retiring well into his 80s.
He was a founding partner of the former Fitzgerald Toole & Co. and eventually went into solo practice at Philip B. Toole, Inc.
His civic and philanthropic pursuits were countless, but most were rooted in his firm Catholic faith, dedication to Catholic Education and the Diocese of Providence. A daily communicant, he served as Panel Chairman for the Diocesan Board of Program Reviews and Budgets from 1973-1985.
He was a former chair of the Catholic Charities Fund Appeal in 1971, earning the Bishop McVinney Medal for Service to the Diocese of Providence that same year. A past president of the Bishop Russell J. McVinney Foundation for vocations, he remained an enthusiastic member of the foundation well into his 80s. He also served as chair of the St. Vincent’s Home for Children Imperial Club Committee, on the Board of Governors of the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island, and he served on the both the Diocesan School Board and on the Board of the Rhode Island Catholic (Formerly the Providence Visitor).
In recognition of his deep sense of loyalty to the diocese and his faith, Phil was bestowed the honor of Knight of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II in 1989.
Other organizations that benefited from Phil’s dedication to service included the Serra Club of Providence, The United Way, Greater Providence YMCA, RI College Foundation, Crescent Park Carousel Restoration Project, RI State Seniors Golf Association, Catholic Association of College Alumni, The University Club of Providence and the Notre Dame Club of RI & SE Mass.
He was predeceased by his two older brothers, William K. Toole, III and Frank J. Toole Jr., and leaves several adoring nieces and nephews.
A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on July 7 at St. Margaret’s Church in Rumford.
For those or wishing to honor Phil’s legacy and commitment to Catholic Education, contributions to the Tom and Terri Murphy Foundation for Inclusion in Catholic Education 378 Main Street, East Greenwich, RI 02818 will be greatly appreciated.