Matthew D. Toohey, 47: Accomplished carpenter, passionate fisherman

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SCARBOROUGH — Matthew David Toohey, 47, of Scarborough, died Oct. 3 after a courageous battle with brain cancer that lasted over a decade.

Born on March 31, 1966, he was the eighth child of Thomas D. Toohey Jr. and Christine Clements. He attended Portland schools and went on to study business at Indian River State College, Fort Pierce, Fla., and Northeastern University, Boston.

Most recently, Toohey was the manager of Lumber Liquidators in Scarborough where he worked for over 12 years until he went on leave due to his illness. He was a very knowledgeable carpenter who built several homes and brought this experience to the showroom at work. The business grew rapidly during those years, largely due to his relationships with contractors and customers. Toohey took a lot of pride in providing for his family and worked very hard throughout his illness.

Toohey harbored a deep love of the ocean. A longtime resident of Pine Point, he was very active as a shellfish harvester and served for years on the Scarborough Shellfish Committee. He loved fishing and spent many hours with his boys, relatives and friends, surf-casting for stripers on Grand Beach and trolling the waters off Pine Point.

He spent several years in Florida helping his mother through her health difficulties. He often fished until dawn on the North Bridge in Fort Pierce, enjoying the weather and camaraderie.

Throughout his illness, Toohey spent time on the clam flats in Pine Point whenever he could. He took great pleasure in sharing his knowledge with his sons and nephews, whether it was about secret fishing spots, tinkering with an outboard or handling a clam fork. Nothing made him prouder than watching his sons Gage and Deg maneuver the family’s skiff in the river and return home with a load of clams or fish.

A true child of the ’80s, he had a passion for metal and hard rock music, which he shared with his boys and nephews, taking them to shows all over New England. 

Toohey refused to allow his illness to prevent him from leading a full and rewarding life. He embodied the “serenity prayer,” overcoming challenges in his life, providing an example of perseverance, and accepting turn-of-events with grace. He was a kind, generous and devoted to his friends and family, who were with always with him during his last days.

He will be remembered best with a broad smile after having landed a large fish.

He is survived by his three sons, Gage H., Degnan G. and Matthew K. Toohey, of Scarborough; eight siblings, Christine M. Toohey, of Portland, Susan T. Hamill, Moira J. Erickson, Paul B. Toohey, all of Scarborough, Thomas D. Toohey III and Brian G. Toohey, of Vero Beach, Fla., John F. Toohey, of Fort Pierce, Fla., and Peter C. Toohey, of Old Orchard Beach; and many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours were held Oct. 6 at Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, South Portland. Prayers were recited at Conroy-Tully Crawford on Oct. 7. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at Sacred Heart Church, Portland, and burial followed in Calvary Cemetery.

Those who wish may make memorial donations in his memory to The Toohey Boys, Estate of Matthew Toohey, P.O. Box 42, Scarborough, ME 04070.

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