Arthur L. ‘Art’ O’Toole, 86, one of the first docents at the Military Aviation Museum

Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Arthur L. “Art” O’Toole, 86, died peacefully Monday, June 17, 2019.

He grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; it was there that his early interest in trains began.

After boarding school, Art went to the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a degree in petroleum engineering. He then became a carrier based anti-submarine warfare plane commander, test pilot, instructor pilot and avionics officer.

He attended the Navy Postgraduate School, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Operations Research in 1962. From then on, his career involved duties at the Pentagon, program manager for Advanced Research Projects in Thailand, and then analyzing U.S. Fleet operations, both exercises and real-world events. After a 20-year career in the Navy, Art spent 14 years in corporate analytical work. The last 12 years he provided onsite analytical support for COMSUBLANT Operations Control Center.

After retiring as a contractor, he became involved in model trains and volunteering and organizing fundraiser train excursions for the Virginia Opera Association. Many family train trips in the U.S. and Canada were enjoyed during this time.

Art was one of the initial docents at the Military Aviation Museum. He volunteered over 4,000 hours as he led groups around the museum and mentored many other docents with his enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of airplanes and World War II history.

Art was preceded in death by his parents and son, John. He is survived by Carolyn, his loving wife of 47 years; daughter, Patricia (Darrell); and two grandchildren, Caitlin and Dane.

The family is extremely grateful for the caregivers of Call Georgia, Our Lady Perpetual Help, Care Family and Comfort Care Hospice. Their knowledge taught us so much, and their compassionate care made this long painful journey bearable.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, June 26, at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 717 Tucson Road, Virginia Beach, with burial later in Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, S.E. Virginia Chapter, 6350 Center Drive Suite 102, Norfolk, VA 23502; or the charity of one’s choice.

Share online condolences with the family at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts.

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