BANGOR – Robert Edward Toole, 89, died March 6, 2012, at the Maine Veterans Home after a long illness. Born June 24, 1922, in Bangor, son of James and Regina Ring Toole, he was raised in Hampden and Bangor.
He attended St. Mary’s School and was a graduate of John Bapst High School. He was a standout athlete at John Bapst and Penobscot Times named him to its all-conference football team as a center. A veteran of World War II, Mr. Toole served in the Army Signal Corps and was involved in the D-Day Invasion and Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he worked at Freese’s department store, where he met his wife of 63 years, Geraldine Weston. For more than 30 years, he worked at the Bangor Daily News, rising from journeyman printer to assistant production manager. He also served as a deputy sheriff in Penobscot County. Mr. Toole was a prominent labor leader whose advice and counsel was sought by Maine governors and members of Congress, and candidates for those offices. He was president of the Bangor local of the International Typographical Union, Greater Bangor Labor Council and ran for president of the Maine AFL-CIO. He lectured on labor relations at the University of Maine. Mr. Toole was a longtime member and chair of Bangor Housing Authority who was active in other community organizations that focused on senior issues and economic development. He was active in politics, serving as chair of the Bangor Democratic City Committee. In retirement, he was a familiar figure around town, walking five miles daily from his home on Bruce Road to Brewer and back. An avid golfer, he had been a member of both Hermon Meadow Golf Club and Bangor Municipal Golf Course. He also was a big fan of the Red Sox, Patriots and Notre Dame. He was a member of St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Bangor.
He lost his beloved wife, Gerry, in 2010, greatly missed her and spoke of her often. Family members include three daughters, Cheryl Stetson and her husband, Robert, of Bangor, Regina McCormick and her husband, Michael, of Las Vegas, and Mary C. Toole and her husband, Stephen Ward, of Peaks Island; two sons, Robert E. Toole Jr. and his wife, Pat, of Glenburn, and John Toole and his wife, Marie, of Manchester, N.H.; brother, Terrence of Bangor; grandchildren, Mary-Lou Hains, Angela Reynolds, Kathleen Toole, Tristan Toole, Daniel Hall and Katharine Hall; great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Monday, March 12, at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 768 Ohio St., Bangor. Interment will be beside his beloved wife at Mount Pleasant Catholic Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Hampden-Gilpatrick Funeral Home, 45 Western Ave., Hampden. Messages of condolence and memories may be shared through