Obituary for Richard F. Toerner
RICHARD FRANCIS “DICK” TOERNER
JULY 9, 1934 – FEBRUARY 4, 2018
SHERBURNE: Dick Toerner, of Sherburne, died February 4, 2018 at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown after a twenty-five year battle with Parkinson’s disease and heart disease.
Dick was born in NYC and raised in Stamford, Conn., Raritan, NJ and NYC. He was educated principally in parochial schools. After graduation from an all boys’ high school in Manhattan in 1952, he attended Catholic University of America graduating cum laude in 1958 with a Master’s degree in psychology.
Dick moved to Flagstaff, AZ in 1960 where he taught at a local college and soon began working with the criminal justice system as a forensic psychologist. During his 40 year career he developed a “ride along” program to aid police officers in evaluating the level of physical danger posed by psychotic or intoxicated individuals. He also worked with the Navajo Tribe developing substance abuse programs that incorporated Navajo cultural and religious beliefs and which emphasized personal responsibility and duty to family and clan.
Before his Parkinson’s disease reached an advanced stage, Dick was physically active enjoying hiking, biking, camping and canoeing. He was an excellent marksman and belonged to a black powder gun club. He also loved Broadway musicals and romantic poetry and could quote hundreds of lines in verse.
Dick’s deep faith in God sustained him throughout his life and the beauty of the mass was a source of constant joy to him.
Dick is survived by his wife, Charlotte, son Richard (Stephenie) of PA, daughter Mary Wolfe (Jim) of Flagstaff, AZ, two grandsons, Alex Toerner and Collin Toerner-Wolfe, granddaughter Samantha Toerner-Smith and great-granddaughter Sadie Toerner-Smith.
A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10am at St. Malachy’s Church on Tuesday, February 13, 2018.
Contributions in his memory may be made to American Parkinson Disease Association at www.apdarkinson.org.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Burgess & Tedesco Funeral Home, 10 South Main St., Sherburne, NY.