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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 61
Year of Death: 2016

Joseph “Toolie” O’Toole

Joseph “Toolie” O’Toole, Ladder 41, Bronx, New York, passed on December 12, 2016, after a long, courageous battle with cancer related to his response after the 9/11 Terror Attacks on the World Trade Center.

Toolie was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He married the love of his life, Christine (“Edith,” as he always called her) in 1979. They shared 38 loving years together and were blessed with three children, Jeannette, Betty (husband Chris), and Brian (wife Kristina). He was lovingly known as “Poppy” to his grandchildren, Milo, Charlie, Sadie, Angelina, Lucas, and Izabel. Toolie was the most selfless, loving, caring man, the ultimate family man.

And what better fit for the ultimate family man than being one of New York’s Bravest, a brotherhood that would last a lifetime and beyond. During his 20 years as a fireman, he was assigned to Ladder 41/Engine 90 in da Bronx. His childlike playfulness made him one of the most loved brothers in the firehouse. Whether he was doing little projects in the house or playing jokes on the guys, he always managed to bring a smile to everyone’s face.

Toolie was truly one of a kind. He always put others first and himself last. He never asked for anything but gave everything, especially during his time down at Ground Zero for the cleanup. He worked on the pile endlessly for the full nine months until the last day they closed the site, only coming home occasionally for a few hours to see his family.

Toolie was an amazing man who always made you feel special, no matter who you were. Toolie is missed every second of every day and will never be forgotten, as he lives in all of our hearts. Toolie will always be one of New York‘s Bravest.

He is survived by his wife, Christine (“Edith”); children, Jeannette, Betty (husband Chris), Brian (wife Kristina); and grandchildren, Milo, Charlie, Sadie, Angelina, Lucas, and Izabel.

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  1. Toolie was a great guy and truly one-of-a-kind! I’m not a fire fighter, but a volunteer at the site, and it always brought a smile to everyone’s face when Toolie and his brothers arrived at our small warehouse in Soho! He was loved by everyone who knew him and he will never be forgotten! Rest easy, me friend ☘️ ☮️ ️‍

    – Gene O’Brien