J. Patrick “Pat” Toomey, one Milford’s most committed community servants and a national leader in the natural products industry, died of colon cancer on March 6, 2009 at his home in Milford, Ohio. He was 58.
While he served as president of the largest international trade association dedicated to natural products, Toomey also operated a health food store serving Milford and the surrounding community for more than 34 years.
Debra Short, the current president of the Natural Products Association, who served with Toomey on various board committees and task forces over the years, praised his leadership.
"Pat was elected to the presidency during a time of great transition for the association," said Short. "Pat’s legacy will be his vision to take the association to the next level through his infectious enthusiasm and dedication. He continues to be a beacon for achievement and we will always be grateful to him."
As a member of the Milford community, where he lived and worked, Toomey was a dedicated volunteer and civic leader. Last year he received Clermont County’s 20/20 award for his vision and dedication to civic issues. Since 1980, he had served on the Milford Miami Township Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, including four terms as president. He had been a long-term volunteer in Milford’s annual Frontier Days, including acting as chair seven times. The Milford Community Fire Department also benefited from Toomey’s leadership for more than 23 years as a member of its board of directors. And, for more than 17 years, Toomey was a member of the Milford Planning Commission.
Toomey was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, November 10, 1950, and moved to Cincinnati with his family when he was a young boy. He spent the rest of his life in Milford. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Cincinnati in 1973.
When he became interested in the benefits that natural products could bring in maintaining and improving health, Toomey opened Toomey’s Natural Foods in Milford. His long-time partner in business and life, his wife Mimi, first met Toomey in Milford in December 1993. There were very few health food stores in the community at the time and Toomey believed he was providing an important health service to the community. His enthusiasm for natural products never waned as he worked his way from regional to national boards in promoting the benefits of natural products.
Toomey served on the national and Midwest regional boards of the Natural Products Association, and served as association president July 1999 to June 2001. He received the association’s Crusader Award in 2004.
In addition to Mimi, his wife of 15 years, Toomey’s survivors include his daughter and son-in-law Traci and Josh DeBra; siblings Mike Toomey, Becky "Missy" Smith, Katrina Shepherd and six grandchildren.
The visitation will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, at Evans Funeral Home, 741 Center St., Milford. A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 11, at St. Andrew Church, 522 Main St.