Butler Chapel - Drums
530 W. Butler Drive
Drums, PA 18222
(570) 708-3084
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Barbara Toohil

1950 - 2020
Barbara Toohil Obituary

Barbara was a woman of glamorous style and grace. In her early career, she was a successful fashion designer who worked in Boston, Massachusetts, flying to New York City, Milan and Paris.

With her husband, Peter Toohil, she co-authored the book, Accents on Artists and audio pronunciation companion. They also created the board game, Fine Art the Collector's Choice, together.

She graduated from Hazleton High School in 1967, attended Endicott College in Massachusetts for her bachelor's degree, and received her Master's of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art in 1973. Barbara served on the boards of the Hazleton Art League and Brandon's Forever Home. She also worked tirelessly on her daughter's election campaigns for State Representative.

Barbara was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. She was known for her quick laugh and her kindness. She loved cooking elaborate and unique meals for her family. Her specialties were Italian Carbonara, hot yogurt soup, Mediterranean Kibbe, cold cucumber salad and Asian Pearl Balls steamed in Bamboo.

Upon reading this, Barbara would like to urge anyone who knows someone beginning dialysis to unabashedly seek out a living kidney donor. She also urges people who would never consider becoming a living donor to reconsider the idea. Barbara received a kidney transplant in 2003 which gave her a 14 year lease on life before having to begin dialysis.

She would like everyone to know that she did not die of Coronavirus. Although, she did suffer one month in a nursing home and rehab struggling with the inability to see her family during the pandemic.

Barbara was the daughter of William Woodhouse Kay Jr. and Alice Spaide Kay. She was born in Kingston on Jan. 5, 1950.

She was predeceased by her son, Brandon, in 1997.

She is survived by her husband, Peter Toohil; two daughters, Cynthia Toohil; and Tarah Toohil (son-in-law, Scot Burkhardt). She was the foster mother for 42 foster children, whom she cared for and loved deeply. She is survived by her grandchildren, who kept her going during her fight to continue dialysis, Alexandra Burkhardt Toohil; Abigail Wagner; Averi Stringent; Dylan Burkhardt; Dalton Burkhardt; Jacob Burkhardt; and Blaise Burkhardt.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations in Barbara's memory be sent to Brandon's Forever Home, 187 N. Church St., Hazleton, PA 18201. Brandon's Forever Home was founded in her late son's name to advocate for foster children and provide family support services.

Barbara departed into Eternal Rest Monday.

A celebration of her life will be planned after the pandemic.

Krapf and Hughes Funeral Homes is assisting the family through their Butler Chapel, Drums.

Condolence messages may be entered in the family's online memorial guest book on the funeral home website at www.khfuneralhomes.com.

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