Oct 20, 2021, 3:24pm CDT
Milwaukee Business Journal
Kevin O’Toole, a lead executive and part of the ownership of Brookfield’s Hunzinger Construction Co., died on Tuesday after a 34-month fight with pancreatic cancer.
During his 34 years with the high-profile builder, O’Toole worked with clients including Northwestern Mutual, MGIC, Johnson Controls Inc., Badger Meter and Harley-Davidson Motor Co. He was involved in construction of Miller Park and its recent renovation into American Family Field.
Hunzinger Construction announced O’Toole’s death at age 67 on Wednesday. “I already miss his strong and confident voice, his immediate and bottomless empathy, his sharp and subtle intelligence, and his incredible determination and passion,” company president John Hunzinger, O’Toole’s brother-in-law, wrote in a message to employees. “Kevin has been an inspiration to all of us throughout his fight to live,” John Hunzinger’s message said. “He has shown us how to live a life with grace and purpose. I mourn with you all.”
An avid musician, O’Toole was “most proud” of his work with Milwaukee World Festival Inc. where he oversaw renovation of the American Family Insurance Amphitheater, and construction of several stages on the lakefront festival grounds, according to Wednesday’s company announcement. O’Toole as a singer, songwriter and guitar player performed at Summerfest for 17 consecutive years.
O’Toole was on the local and national boards of Make-A-Wish, and was given the organization’s Marilyn Mueller Donor Champion Award for that service. “I have always been impressed by Kevin’s dedication, passion, strategic thinking, and all around smarts,” said Patti Gorsky, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Wisconsin. “He has been my mentor, cheerleader, teacher, friend and a wonderful wish champion over the many years we’ve known each other.” O’Toole also was on the board of Musicians on Call, a Nashville organization that brings live and recorded music to patients in health care facilities. He recently became vice chair of the organization’s board, and was a leader in creating its Virtual Bedside Performance Program.
O’Toole is survived by his wife of 46 years Patricia, daughter Kelly (Dave Zierden) and his son Ryan (Jamie O’Toole) and his grandchildren Caroline and Brendan Zierden and Finley and Adelaide O’Toole.
His son Ryan O’Toole was part of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 16 People to Know in Construction and Real Estate, which was featured in our Oct. 15 issue. Sean Ryan Reporter Milwaukee Business Journal
May 16, 1954 ~ October 19, 2021 (age 67)
Kevin P O’Toole of Pewaukee. passed away October 19, 2021 after a relentless 34-month fight with Pancreatic Cancer. He is survived by his soul mate, Pat, who he recently celebrated 46 years of marriage. Kevin deeply loved and was so proud of his daughter Kelly (Dave Zierden) of Franklin and his son Ryan (Jamie O’Toole) of Whitefish Bay and his grandchildren Caroline Zierden and Brendan Zierden and Finley and Adelaide O’Toole. He is also survived by his step mother Martina (Buckely) O’Toole of MA, his sisters Maureen Linckens of CO, Eileen O’Toole Byers of CO, and Siobhan O’Toole Verbeek of MD and their families. Brothers-in-law John & Jim Hunzinger and their families. Kevin was proceeded in death by his father Kevin J O’Toole and his mother Rosalie.
Kevin was a man of family, faith, music, and philanthropy. He was kind, brave, bold, smart, benevolent, and a really great friend. Kevin had friends all over the country and if you were his friend, he stayed connected to you. He lived by the mantra “Do the Right Thing”. He had many passions and music was at the top of the list. He wooed Pat back in college with his guitar playing and smooth voice. She never stood a chance. He was an accomplished guitar player, a singer/songwriter and proudly played Summerfest for 17 years straight with his band H2OH. Most recently September 10th. Kevin loved his old band The Basement Boys and some of his closest friends are band members from over 25 years ago. He truly believed in the “Healing Power of Music” so much so that even before his cancer diagnosis, he joined the national board of directors of Musicians on Call. He so trusted in their mission to deliver the healing power of music in healthcare facilities, he passionately led the organization as Secretary and was recently elected Vice Chairman. Musicians On Call launched a Music Pharmacy in his name at Froedtert Hospital, where he received treatment. They also started a Bedside Performance Program at Froedtert to give him the healing power of music in his time of need, just like he helped MOC do for hundreds of thousands of patients across the country. Throughout his life, and his fight, music was with him and brought him so much happiness.
Kevin loved The Beatles. He shared a special bond with his grandson and best buddy Brendan as this Beatlemania was their glue, along with guitar lessons. Kevin was Brendan’s biggest baseball fan, attending every game he could. Kevin didn’t miss his kid’s or grandkid’s life events whether it was flying back and forth to Florida weekly to watch Ryan play Lacrosse, nervously sitting in Kelly’s delivery room when she gave birth to his first grandchild Caroline, or making sure they could all attend a Brewer’s game together. Kevin was a proud and committed family man.
As a teen, Kevin earned the rank of Eagle Scout and recently was honored with the prestigious National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award or “NOESA” from the Boy Scouts of America.
Kevin was an integral part of Hunzinger Construction Company’s ownership, leadership, growth, and success. Kevin spent the last 24 years as Executive Vice President. He was most proud of his work for Milwaukee World Festivals Inc., where he oversaw the renovation of The American Family Amphitheater, the construction of the BMO Harris Stage, Briggs Big Backyard, the Miller Stage, the new Generac Stage and numerous other projects on the Henry Maier Festival Park Summerfest grounds. He loved working with The Milwaukee Brewers and on the construction of Miller Park and the continuous upgrades throughout the years culminating with the American Family Field renovations at the start of this baseball season. He was successful in his career and was recognized by The Daily Reporter as an Icon of Construction, but was most gratified when his company received The Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award.
Deeply committed to Make-A-Wish, O’Toole volunteered on both the local and national board of directors. He was honored to receive the Marilyn Mueller Donor Champion Award for his work with, and on behalf of, Make-A-Wish Wisconsin. Patti Gorsky, President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Wisconsin became a dear friend and Kevin became her mentor and a wonderful wish champion.
Kevin’s was a practicing Roman Catholic and his faith was the cornerstone for him and the life he built. He moved to Milwaukee from the east coast in the 1970’s to attend Marquette University, where he met his future wife and graduated with a BA in Theology. After graduating, he taught religion and was a football coach at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha for a few years before joining Hunzinger Construction Company. It was a job he loved and often talked of teaching in his retirement.
A number of years ago, Kevin bought an RV dubbed “The Magic Bus” and he loved traveling with Pat and meeting new people. He cherished trips with the grandchildren and the song writing trips to Spring Green with Henry Lewis of H2OH. He and Henry even travelled to Memphis to record an album at Sun Studio (yes Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis also recorded there). He loved riding his Harley with Pat on the back or driving his Corvette with Pat riding shotgun. He lived life to the fullest and was a role model and an inspiration to a lot of people who admired him. He made it look easy, fitting 28 hours of activities into a 24-hour day but it’s easier when you only sleep 4 hours a night. O’Toole leaves behind a lasting legacy and will be deeply missed by all those fortunate enough to know him.
We would like to thank Dr. George and his team at Froedtert’s Center for Advanced Care for their compassion and unwavering care.
Visitation at Becker Ritter Funeral Home 14075 W. North Ave., Tuesday October 26 from 4-7PM. Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday, October 27th at St. Charles 313 Circle Dr. Hartland 11AM visitation. NOON Mass. Donations in Kevin’s memory may be made to: Kevin O’Toole Wish Fund at Make-A-Wish WI or to Musicians on Call.
October 26, 2021
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Becker Ritter Funeral Home
14075 W. North Ave
Brookfield, WI 53005
October 27, 2021
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
St. Charles Catholic Church
313 Circle Dr.
Hartland, WI 53066