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John Lawrence O'Toole

April 5, 1929 — January 26, 2024

Mount Pleasant, SC

John Lawrence O'Toole

John Lawrence “Jack” O’Toole, 94 of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, passed away on Friday, January 26, 2024.

Born on April 5, 1929, in Saint Louis, Missouri Jack was a son of the late Anastasia O’Toole (Earner) and William O’Toole. He had thirteen brothers and sisters and graduated high school from Christian Brothers College in Saint Louis. He will always be adored and loved for his humor and loyalty.

He joined the Marine Corps on November 2, 1947. His career spanned two decades. As an enlisted man he was awarded a full NROTC Scholarship based on the competitive examination and interviews of three separate panels of senior officers. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1953 with a BA in Journalism.

On June 7, 1953, he returned to the Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant and served in the Korean War as Platoon Commander and Military Police Officer, participating in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.  He then served as the Military Police Supervisor Officer in Osaka, Japan. From 1955 to 1959, he served as Recruit Training Officer in Parris Island, SC. That is when he met and married his wife Catherine Ann Fosberry of Charleston on September 14, 1957. He then became Executive Officer for Marine Barracks Adak, Alaska. He was an Intelligence Officer and Provost Marshal with the First Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, CA. In 1965 he served as Operations Control Officer with the Ninth Marines in Vietnam providing security for the Da Nang Air Force Base. He then attended Command and General Staff School in Quantico, VA graduating in the top echelon of his class. At the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point he participated Project Cloud Gap, which studied the feasibility of inspections for arms control agreements. He was later assigned to the 34th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Lejeune where he served as Executive Officer. In 1970-71 he was Provost Marshal and Public Safety Officer at Camp S.D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan. His last assignment was as Fleet Marine Officer, First Fleet in San Diego, CA where he advised the Admiral on the readiness of the marines in the fleet. On July 1, 1973, after 21 years, 10 months and 18 days of active-duty service, Lieutenant Colonel John Lawrence O’Toole was transferred to the Retired List.

After retirement, Jack went back to school earning his teacher’s credentials, then went on to secure his Master’s Degree in Special Education from the College of Charleston. From 1974-1981 he was the Athletic Director, coach, and teacher at Trident Academy. He continued to offer tutoring services for children with learning disabilities but also refereed soccer and basketball games.

In 1981 he obtained his first tour guide license for the City of Charleston, he initially worked for a tour guide company but by 1983 he was running his own private tour guide company. He conducted private tours for well over twenty years. In his spare time, he worked in the garden at Christ Our King Catholic Church becoming well known for growing beautiful roses.

Jack is preceded in death by his wife Catherine Ann Fosberry, his father and mother, Mr., and Mrs. William Francis O’Toole of Saint Louis, William P. O’Toole (brother) of Saint Louis, Margaret Mary “Peggy” McGuire (sister) of Saint Louis, Thomas Joseph O’Toole (brother) of Saint Louis, Richard Kevin O’Toole (brother) of Saint Louis, and Michael O’Toole (brother) of Saint Louis.

Jack is survived by his daughters, Catherine Turner, and Shannon Mahon (Rick), sons William “Sean” O’Toole (Molly), and Matthew O’Toole (Cindy), siblings Mary Ann Garidel, Patricia O’Toole, Reverand Robert F. O’Toole, Theresa O’Toole, Paul O’Toole, Kathleen Brunt all of Saint Louis.  Joseph C. O’Toole, James D. O’Toole, MD of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and numerous nephews, nieces, and seven grandchildren.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, with a Rosary that will go from 5:00 PM - 5:15 PM at McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation - Mount Pleasant, 1520 Rifle Range Road in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Stella Marris Catholic Church on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at (10:30 AM). The burial will be held at Mount Pleasant Memorial Gardens in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Christ Our King- Stella Maris School.

Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation, 1520 Rifle Range Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464, (843) 884-3833.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Lawrence O'Toole, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Wednesday, January 31, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Thursday, February 1, 2024

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Thursday, February 1, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Mount Pleasant Memorial Gardens

1308 Mathis Ferry Rd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

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