Written by Gwendolyn Toomer Wilson
Donald David Toomer was born to Henry and Bertha Toomer on May 26, 1930 on Elm Ave. in East Berlin, New Jersey. He passed on to another life on Nov. 30, 1995. I know my dad was a delightful child and a handsome young man in his day who enjoyed sports in school and out. He went to Overbrook High School where he loved to play football and softball. He often told me that he had the chance to play pro-baseball but his mother wouldn’t let him go. Instead he had to work in the field. He never got over that, and loved to watch the game on t.v. He wanted his sons and grandsons to play baseball but they were not interested. I played softball but it wasn’t the same. As time went on he met and married my mother, Pearl Pointer."What a union." (smile) He loved my mother dearly and he cared very much about family and friends. Together they raised 4 kids. They were William (Billy), Donna, Gwendolyn (Gwenie or Dusty) and Don Franklin Toomer (Boo). Only my father called me ‘Dusty’. He was also known as ‘Duck’. For those of you who knew my dad, you knew that he was a good and loving man. He was also a good father and was always there for us. He took us fishing, crabbing, hunting and to visit relatives and friends. He made us eat deer meat, squirrels, rabbits, eels, fish and other things I won’t mention. All of you who came to our house knew he loved to cook wild game and could get you to eat it and like it. Sometimes you didn’t know what you were eating only that it tasted good. He taught my boys to hunt and fish, and me and Donna to cook and clean.
I remember as a young girl he would sit at Uncle Albert’s house and wait for me to get off the school bus. Then he would race me up the street to our house. He beat me every time. I’d give anything to see those little legs go again. He loved his grandkids and tried to spend time with all of them. He went to see Calvin and Howard play football all the time. He never missed a game. You couldn’t always see him, but you knew he was there. He also went to a couple of baseball games Calvin played, but he was disappointed when Calvin stopped playing.
He worked for the New York Shipyard in Camden and Philadelphia for over 30 years. He was a member of the American Legion Post 357 in Berlin and also a Mason. He was a member of the Tippin Inn gang, and so were a lot of us family members who worked and played there. He used to enjoy sitting at Tippin Inn with Uncle James. He also loved to just sit and talk to Uncle Albert and Uncle Bees and have a beer. Uncle Bees didn’t say much, and soon he’d be gone without a trace.
Daddy you did us proud, and you were always there for us. You taught us, you taught our kids, and you taught mommy to always be yourself, and to be proud of who you were, and where you came from. I’m so proud to be your daughter and a Toomer girl. I know Donna feels the same way. Your sons and grandsons and daughters are proud too. We honor you and your memory with much love and respect. We will pass on all the love and knowledge that you gave us to the next generation. I thank you for being my father, and loving me to the end of your days. We will love you to the end of ours. May you rest in peace, and the Angels watch over you as you sleep. We honor you all the days of our lives. Your daughters Gwenie and Donna, your sons, Billy and Boo, and your wife Pearl and grandkids. "We will race again soon Dad".
"P.S." You taught my boys to be men and I thank you.