Clarence Gino Toigo - Born into eternal life September 14, 2020 at the age of
87, cherished husband, father, brother, uncle, Pop- Pop, great Pop-Pop, and friend to
anyone who knew him.
Clarence was Born February 1st, 1933 in Allentown, Pennsylvania to Domenick and
Cesira (Grisotto) Toigo. He grew up on Washington Street in a large, loving Italian
immigrant family that provided him the foundation to build an extraordinary life.
Clarence earned his degree in Electrical Engineering from CREI in Washington DC, now
known as George Washington University. While in college Clarence enjoyed
entertaining as a professional musician playing in several bands throughout the
Washington DC Area, he was a famous for his abilities on the saxophone and clarinet.
He was also an avid dance instructor teaching all classical forms of ballroom dance
from the tango to the rhumba. He remained passionate about music and dance
throughout his entire life, sharing this love with his children.
Clarence served in the Korean War in the United States Army Corp of Engineers, he
was stationed in Germany and shared many incredible stories of his time there and the
pride he had serving the country that he loved so dearly.
December 17, 1955 was to our father, the happiest day of his life, he married his
Sweetheart Mary (Coughlin) Toigo. He would go on to tell everyone who knew him well,
that this was his greatest achievement. Anyone privy to witness the love he had for our
mother, was blessed for having seen it. They were able to celebrate in happiness,
surrounded by family two landmark 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries, both of
which were blessed by the Vatican. This December would have marked 65 years of
Clarence had a vast and impressive engineering career, working with large corporations
such as Lockheed and offering his expertise as a private contractor to several
branches of the US Government. His career involved him in many groundbreaking
technological advancements of electrical engineering in the United States and assisting
in our nations security.
In 1971, at the young age of 36, Clarence purchased what is now Toigo Orchards, in
Shippensburg Pennsylvania. It was his desire to pursue agriculture while also providing
a refuge for his family away from the growing hectic pace of the Washington DC area.
Clarence continued to balance his Engineering Career while also building what we now
know as Toigo Orchards today. There was nothing he could not grow from a simple
seed. His love and talent for agriculture, and farming beautiful produce and fruit will
stand forever in the beautiful sanctuary that he created and loved so dearly.
Above anything, without hesitation, nothing meant more to Clarence than his Family
and God. He was very active in the Catholic Church, and provided the greatest gift to
his entire family by leading his life as a Catholic Man of Faith. He taught us all that there
is nothing to fear as long as you keep Christ close, there is nothing that cannot be
solved through the power of prayer. He was extremely active in the Church even as of
very recent, he was still volunteering as a Eucharistic Minister distributing the
sacrament of Communion to the sick and shut in’s. In addition to this, another joy over
the years was playing Santa to the parish children, a role he adored. He was a proud
lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, as well as the VFW, the Hershey Italian
Club, and a Hamm Radio enthusiast. Many people will remember our father on a long
running Saturday Morning Radio Talk show out of Harrisburg, where he had a
permanent weekly spot. He was invited to discuss the local seasonal food that was
being harvested each week and the best recipes that season had to offer, this show
brought him great joy. He was a local celebrity and expert gourmet.
Clarence and Mary’s love produced the following 4 children, Stephen (Terry) Toigo,
Rosemary Toigo McBath (George Haubeil), Mark (Jaime) Toigo, Anne-Marie Toigo (Jim)
Papageorge. 11 grandchildren Donnie McBath, Stephanie (Ben) Wright, Danny (Kerry)
Toigo, Dominique McBath, William (Shauna) McBath, Paul Toigo, Mary Papageorge,
Teddy Papageorge, Tess Papageorge, Diamond and Passion Bragg. 5 Great
Grandchildren, Stephen Toigo, Henry Wright, Brayden Toigo, Samuel Wright, and
Madeline Wright. Nothing meant more to Clarence than his children and grandchildren,
the very sound of their voices made him light up all over. He loved nothing more than
hearing about each one of their lives daily, always beaming with great interest and
pride. Along with his wife Mary, Clarence is also survived by 4 siblings and a sister in
law that he greatly loved; his sister Esther Toigo (Dick) Wallitsch. Brothers: Eugene
Toigo, Alexander (Adeline) Toigo, Sergio (Julie) Toigo, sister in law Bonnie (Quinto) Toigo
and many nieces and nephews.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying of the self that we are born
to eternal life.
-St. Francis of Assisi