I would like to add a postscript to the Sept. 15 "A Life Lived" column by Martin DeAngelis about Frank Toner.
I served with Frank in the military and knew him as a nice guy who would torture you in a nice way, always unrelenting but leading to laughter. I had not seen Frank in a number of years until three years ago when we had parked next to each other. Upon exiting his vehicle, he observed jars of peanut butter, crackers and jelly in my back seat.
Frank immediately tormented me regarding my alleged gluttonous appetite, but he became serious when I gave him an explanation. I told him my wife, Sharon, had started a self-financed initiative at our church to feed the homeless by giving packaged meals to Sister Jean Webster's kitchen in Atlantic City to feed people on the weekends when her kitchen was closed.
Frank's next words were, "I can fund this." Over time, he was responsible for 14,000 meals being prepared. Frank assigned an employee of his company to go with my wife to do the shopping and the delivery to the church. When one of his employees was not available, he showed up himself. The amazing thing that ultimately stood out was that Frank never asked for a receipt. We saved them, but he could have cared less.
Frank also subsidized Christmas parties for underprivileged children for years, with no fanfare or publicity as to his involvement. When Frank gets to where I think he has ended up and is asked, "What have you done to make life better for your fellow man?" I think he can answer with conviction, "I tried to do the best I could."
Egg Harbor Township