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John Crawford Toomay

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TOOMAY, MAJOR GENERAL JOHN CRAWFORD (USAF Ret.) 85, a 29-year resident of Carlsbad, CA died at home on March 11, 2008, from peritonitis. He was born in August 1922 in Ontario, CA. He married Virginia May Sadler (1924-2005) of Wasco, CA on October 11th, 1944 and they enjoyed 60 years together. The son of Rev. John B. Toomay and Inez Crawford Toomay, he and his younger brothers spent their childhood on Catalina Island where their father was the Congregational minister. John attended high school at the Webb School on scholarship before studying journalism and English at the College of the Pacific. While still in university he joined the Army Air Corps; he was too tall to be a pilot (6' 7") so he served in World War II as a communications officer commanding a small outpost in Prinz Christian Sund, Greenland. After the war he played professional basketball for the Chicago Stags, Providence Steamrollers, Washington Capitols, and Denver Nuggets. John still holds the NBA record for the most personal fouls in a play-off game (8). In 1950 he was recalled to the Air Force for the Korean War during which he was stationed in Tokyo. He obtained a degree in electrical engineering from University of California as well as an MBA from George Washington University and became a career Air Force officer. Of his 32 years of service almost half was spent at the Pentagon in strategic development, including advanced radar systems, SDI technologies, and nuclear weapons policy. He earned the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster. After the Air Force, John and Virginia settled in Carlsbad, CA. where he did consulting work and wrote Radar Principles for the Non-specialist (1984). He served on the board of directors of Texas Instruments, Sparta Inc., and the Leucadia Donut Shoppe. John was an avid golfer and took great joy in watching all sports, especially basketball. He pursued his technical interests, contemplating among other things the speed of light and the behavior of CO2. John lived his life according to the second law of thermodynamics. General Toomay is survived by his brother Theodore Garrison Toomay of Vista, CA, and his four children: Patrick Toomay of Albuquerque, NM; Timothy Toomay of Pleasant Hill, CA; Michele Toomay Douglas of Ft. Worth, TX; & Leslie Hess of Ojai, CA; as well as four grandsons: Dr. Seth Toomay & John Toomay both of Dallas, TX; John Hess & Carl Hess both of Ojai, CA. Per John's wishes, no memorial is planned. In lieu of flowers a charitable contribution may be made to a university of your choosing. Sic transit gloria mundi.
Published in Dallas Morning News on Mar. 16, 2008
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