Bertha M. Toolan, 84, World War II Navy nurse


Bertha M. "Bert" Toolan, a former lieutenant in the Navy Corps of Nursing who served in the Philippines during World War II, died Thursday of heart failure at the Maryland Masonic Home in Hunt Valley. She was 84.

Born Bertha Marie Baltus in Oswego County, N.Y., she moved to Baltimore with her family as a young child. She graduated in 1937 from Eastern High School, and from the former St. Joseph Hospital's nursing school in 1940.

She was assigned to Bethesda Naval Hospital and later to a field hospital ship in the Philippines. Her decorations included the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and Philippines Liberation Ribbon.

"She had a lot of good friends she kept in touch with," said a daughter, Patricia Toolan of Severna Park. "She enjoyed the tour."

In 1947, shortly after her discharge from the Navy, she married John Toolan, whom she met at a Baltimore dance when she was 14. They were active in the Santa Barbara Post of the Catholic War Veterans, Knights of Columbus and the Woodcroft Civic Association.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9 a.m. today at St. Ursula's Roman Catholic Church, 8801 Harford Road, Parkville.

In addition to her husband, a retired lithographer, and daughter, Mrs. Toolan is survived by a son, John T. Toolan Jr. of Hunt Valley; two daughters, Anita Shrader of Perry Hall and Carol Kelly of Chesapeake, Va.; two sisters, Helen Franz of Parkville and Marie August of Albuquerque, N.M.; a brother, Arnold Baltus of Catonsville; and six grandchildren.

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