A student at St. Vincent’s Elementary School, 12-year-old Cormac Slater O’Toole was an outside the box thinker and continual hand-raiser who loved science, history social studies and historical cultures.
After a four-month battle with a rare form of central nervous system melanoma, O’Toole died on Aug. 24, 2014.
O’Toole was a rare thinker, and continual tinkerer; asking questions and thinking them through to their logical (or illogical) end was his central hobby in all areas. He was completely at ease discussing any topic with his parents and family, and his wry sense of humor made any conversation joyful.
A regular Petaluma National Little League and Petaluma Youth Soccer League participant, O’Toole’s attitude and humor brought smiles to his coaches, and he was extremely proud of being selected as team captain for his PYSL team last year.
His two central loves were inventing and the outdoors: whether it was Lego creations, building Fort Redwood at his home, winning the solar car contest at St. Vincent’s, camping at Samuel P. Taylor and Plumas Eureka State Parks, or making an award winning robot for Fundemonium, O’Toole’s inquisitive nature continued to amaze.
From his diagnosis in late April, O’Toole grew stronger physically and emotionally each day as he weathered substantial treatment. With kayaking at Spring Lake, hiking at Helen Putnam, climbing trees at Samuel P. Taylor and rock climbing at the gym, he assumed a “Take that, Cancer!” stance that continued to fortify his family and friends throughout this trial.
As the community rallied around him and his family, collective prayers of a miracle were manifest in a Make a Wish Foundation trip to Yellowstone.
O’Toole felt good the whole trip, and jammed as many experiences as he could: kayaking and fishing at Jenny Lake under the Grand Tetons, visiting Old Faithful under a full moon and elk, bison and grizzly sightings. O’Toole hooked the biggest trout on the planet at sunset on Yellowstone Lake.
O’Toole’s overall condition began to decline last weekend, and he was admitted to the pediatric ICU Tuesday night.
He is survived by parents, Susan and Jim; and brother Connor.
Rosary and mass services will be held at St. Vincent’s Church, 35 Liberty St. in Petaluma. Rosary services will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28. A celebration mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 29.