Gemma McCarthy Toomey Sullivan was born on September 18, 1940 and died on October 25, 2021. She spent her early years in Bayonne, New Jersey and has lived in Montclair, New Jersey since 1965. She graduated summa cum laude from the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, New Jersey, and earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling Services at Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey.
Gemma has been parishioner of St. Cassian Church in Montclair, New Jersey and served on its Parish Council during its formative years after the Second Vatican Council. She was a Co-Chair of the Writer’s Room in Montclair High School for 15 years and volunteered and Chaired the Essex County Division of the New Jersey Child Placement Review Board for over 20 years. Gemma has been a member of the Board of Directors at Job Haines Home in Bloomfield, New Jersey for 30 years and served as its Chair for 21 years. She has also volunteered at the Montclair Human Needs Food Pantry for over 20 years.
Gemma enjoyed spending her summers on Martha’s Vineyard for the last 50 years and organizing a revolving door of visiting family and friends. She spent many years gardening and fending off deer at her homes in Montclair and on Martha’s Vineyard. Gemma also served as the first woman member of the Farm Neck Golf Club Board of Directors on Martha’s Vineyard.
Gemma was predeceased by her husband, David J. Toomey, and her sisters Sheila Magrini and Ginny McGill and her brother Thomas McCarthy. Gemma is survived by her loving husband of 40 years Thomas Sullivan, her sister Patricia McCarthy and her children David, John (Tricia), Mark and Paul Toomey, and her granddaughters Leah, Kiera, Scarlett and Finley Toomey. Gemma also enjoyed being actively involved in the lives of her many nieces and nephews.
A wake will be held on October 28, 2021 from 2-4pm and 6-8pm at Moriarty Funeral Home, 76 Park Street, Montclair, New Jersey. A funeral mass will be held on October 29, 2021 at 10am at St. Cassian Church, 187 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Memorial Sloan Kettering Pediatric Cancer Center.