Nature 33

Heidrun Toomey

1942 ~ 2022 (age 79)



October 5, 1942 - April 24, 2022

Heidi Toomey died at home on April 24, 2022 after a long illness with her loving husband, Phil, by her side.

Heidi was born in Oberursel, Germany on October 5, 1942 to Heinrich and Cläre Schmidt. She began an office career at age 14 and participated in track and field, ultimately being ranked among the top ten sprinters in West Germany.

In 1965, she emigrated to the U.S. where she met her “Ami”, Phil, at Rockaway Beach in New York. Heidi and Phil were married later that year, and the two greatest treasures in Heidi’s life, daughters Jennifer and Adrienne, were born in 1966 and 1967.

The family moved several times with Phil’s work to various places, including California and Pittsburgh, and ultimately Boise in 1974. Heidi became a very proud American citizen while in California. She loved this country and all the opportunities it afforded to immigrants.

Heidi found joy in being a mother to Jennifer and Adrienne. She devoted herself to creating a nurturing home for her daughters, leading by example how to be a strong, yet compassionate, woman. Even after they grew up and left home, she remained their greatest cheerleader.  

Heidi brought her strength and grace outside the home as well with her achievements and giving back to the community, enriching the world around her in so many ways.

When Jennifer and Adrienne were old enough, Heidi went to school for her GED and ultimately her bachelor’s degree, and was named one of the Top Ten Scholars of her graduating class from Boise State University.  Recognizing the opportunities she had been given to complete her education, she established a scholarship at BSU for single parents with children.

A cancer survivor herself, she spent a number of gratifying years visiting with cancer patients in the chemotherapy infusion sections of both St. Luke’s and St. Al’s Hospitals.  She brought them comfort and hope by listening, and sharing her own experience.

Heidi loved the mountains, and she and her family spent many summers backpacking in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. That love of nature was a gift that she passed onto her daughters. Later, Heidi and Phil hiked in several countries, including Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand and Nepal.

After a large fire in the Boise foothills in the nineties, Phil and Heidi planted many Ponderosa Pine seedlings and carried water to them regularly for over two years to help them survive.

Heidi was a member of the Catholic Church and served as a Eucharistic Minister for many years.

Everyone loved Heidi.  She had a friendliness and naturalness and zest for life that just drew people to her. She will be remembered fondly by many and missed terribly by her family. She made the world a better place. 

Heidi is survived by Phil, her husband of 56 years, and her two daughters, Jennifer and Adrienne, son-in-law Matt, 6 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren—as well as a brother-in-law, niece and cousins in Germany.

Phil would like to give thanks to Doctors Waj Nasser, Sky Blue and Paul Montgomery for their special care of Heidi over the years.

A funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Boise on May 13 at 11 a.m. If you were thinking of sending flowers, the family would prefer that you send a contribution to the Boise State Foundation for the Heidi Toomey Scholarship for single parents with children.


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