Lakewood Resident Bob Toomey Dies in Fire



Bob Toomey at the 2013 Lakewood Summer Meltdown
  • RICK ULDRICKS [Twitter: @lkwdcitizen]
  • Bob Toomey at the 2013 Lakewood Summer Meltdown
Lots of people knew Bob Toomey.

Ubiquitous throughout Lakewood, riding his bicycle and casting a craggy smile toward everyone, Toomey was one of the city's omnipresent residents. He had a deep voice, and an accompanying laugh that could shake a barroom wall.

Toomey died Sept. 23 in a fire at his Atkins Avenue home. He was 53.

According to Fire Chief Scott Gilman, the house had a smoke detector but the battery was disconnected. “People need working smoke detectors and a plan to get out,” he told Lakewood Patch. An investigation into the fire is currently under way. Likewise, an autopsy is scheduled for today.

But it will surely be Toomey's positive spin on the world and his enduring charm that resonate well beyond his death.

My most recent interaction with the man came during a night of pool with my girlfriend at Iggy's on Madison Avenue. Toomey, who had only one arm, was a phenom at the billiards table. He brought a custom bridge along with him and knocked down the balls with a precision unlike anyone else.

When a passing player would stop and exclaim what a nice shot that was, he'd roll out his characteristic guffaw and go on his way, rounding the table and lining up the cue ball once again.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.