Obituary for Jacqueline Jean Toomey (Merrill)
Jacqueline Jean Toomey died peacefully on June 12, 2017 at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. She was 89. She was born in Winooski, Vermont on June 30, 1927, the daughter of Frederick J. Merrill and Rosanna Beaudette. She grew up in Winooski and completed her high school education at Mount Saint Mary’s Academy in Burlington. She then went on to Trinity College in Burlington, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1951. She was vice-president of her college class. She worked as a medical technician at Mary Fletcher Hospital in Burlington before marrying William P. Toomey on January 30, 1954 at Saint Stephen Church in Winooski. Upon beginning married life in North Adams, she worked as a lab assistant at North Adams Regional Hospital and later as a substitute teacher in elementary school grades.
In addition to caring for a growing family over the years, she found time to pursue her love of art, both as a painter and a teacher of painting. She was a longtime member of the Adams Art Association, and her paintings won awards at shows throughout the region: the Adams Art Festival, the Northern Berkshire Fall Foliage Art Show, the Berkshire County Fair, and the Battenkill Art League. In 1973, she was awarded the coveted Roy B. Peebles Silver Bowl by the Adams Art Association.
She taught art classes to seniors and to people with developmental disabilities for over thirty years at the Cheshire Senior Center, the Spitzer Center in North Adams, and the Harper Center in Williamstown. She also found time to earn an Associate of Arts degree from Berkshire Community College. She loved cooking, the out-of-doors especially in winter, and spending time with family and friends. She brought a remarkable spirit of good humor, optimism, and energy to every task she undertook. She was a communicant of St. Francis of Assisi Church in North Adams.
She was pre-deceased by William P. Toomey, her husband of 57 years; her sister, Rita Taylor; and her brother, F. James Merrill. She is survived by her four children: David M. Toomey of Amherst, MA; Daniel W Toomey and his wife Linda Kerr of Putney, VT; James P. Toomey and his wife Jane Harris-Toomey of Cummington, MA; Carolyn Toomey and her partner Robert Simons of Amherst, MA; and a granddaughter, Angelika Toomey.
Graveside service will be held for the family on Saturday, June 17. There will be no calling hours. Donations in her name can be made to the Williamstown Council on Aging, 118 Church Street, Williamstown, MA 01267. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com.