Passed peacefully away at the Palliative Care Unit of the Victoria General Hospital, Halifax, NS, on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, Anthony Geoffrey Tooton (Geoff), aged 67, of St. John’s, Newfoundland.Leaving to mourn with fond and loving memories the love of his life, wife of 44 years Jo-Anne (McGrath); his parents, Raymond and Catherine (Wyatt); son Anthony; daughter Allison Himmelman and son-in-law Stephen, granddaughters Clare and Leah, and grandson Nate; brother Frank and wife Carol; sisters Judith Tooton Pratt (the late Robert Pratt), sister Margot Bourne (John); brothers-in-law John McGrath (Eleanor), Jerome McGrath (Debbie); and sisters-in-law Patricia Kelly (Noel), Alice Donovan (Mike) and Diane McGrath (the late Joseph McGrath); as well as a wide circle of other relatives and friends especially dear friend Sharon Grant.
Geoff immersed himself in life and actively participated in a wide variety of educational, commercial and community activities. He was educated at Bishop Feild College, Ridley College, Queen’s University and, in later years earned his MBA from Athabasca University. After entering the family photo business, Tooton’s Limited, Geoff settled on a career in business. He oversaw the growth of Tooton’s throughout Newfoundland and Labrador as well as in Nova Scotia. Upon the demise of the traditional photo industry, Geoff held a number of public and private sector positions with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Irving Oil Limited, Convergys CMG Canada Limited Partnership and the Business Development Bank of Canada. During that time he rose to simultaneously serve as President of both the St. John’s Board of Trade and the Rotary Club of St. John’s. He also served as the Canadian National Chair and International Trustee of Photo Marketing Association International and sat on the Board of Governors of Ridley College, St. Catharines, Ontario. He was also involved in several other organizations, including the Canadian Cancer Society and was a co-op education advisor to the Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Education.
Geoff had a lifelong love of music and piano. He was a member of the St. John’s Athletics Association and ran several marathons. He was continuously in awe of Newfoundland and Labrador’s striking scenery, especially when hiking the East Coast Trail.
In 2016 Geoff and Jo-Anne relocated to Halifax to start a new phase of their lives including being closer to their growing family. There is something magical in being part of one’s next generation of birth and development, which they did not want to miss, and the love and bond that developed between Geoff and his three grandchildren was certainly a special one.
Having been born into the business world and feeling that he still had years to contribute by sharing his wide experience, Geoff opened the Halifax franchise of The Alternative Board International (TAB), bringing together local business owners. Geoff thoroughly enjoyed growing TAB, meeting and helping business owners, and the many new relationships he developed along the way.
Memorial service will be held Thursday, February 28 at 2:30 p.m., at Cruikshanks Funeral Home, 2666 Windsor St., Halifax, with reception to follow.
In accordance with his wishes, visitation and service, under the care of Carnell’s Funeral Home will be held this summer in St. John’s, time to be announced. Interment will follow at the St. John the Evangelist Anglican Cemetery, Spruce Hill Road, Conception Bay South.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Geoff’s memory may be made to the Canadian Mental Health Association.