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O’Toole of Hunzinger dies at 67 after battle with pancreatic cancer

Kevin O’Toole, a longtime executive at Hunzinger Construction, died Tuesday following a battle with pancreatic cancer. (Photo courtesy of Hunzinger Construction)

Kevin O’Toole, a longtime executive at Hunzinger Construction, died this week after a battle with cancer. He was 67. 

O’Toole served as Hunzinger executive vice president for 24 years, overseeing business development at the firm. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2018 and given just months to live. In the end, he fought the illness for more than two and a half years before dying on Tuesday. 

“Kevin was an integral part of Hunzinger Construction Company’s ownership, leadership, growth, and success,” said John Hunzinger, CEO and president, in a statement. “He was a kind and benevolent man. He will be greatly missed.”

O’Toole moved to Milwaukee from the east coast to attend Marquette University, where he met his wife of 46 years, Patricia, and earned a degree in theology. Over his 34-year career at Hunzinger, O’Toole contributed to many prominent projects in southeast Wisconsin, working closely with Northwestern Mutual, Johnson Controls, Harley Davidson and other clients.

O’Toole was most proud of his work on Milwaukee’s Summerfest grounds. An accomplished musician himself, O’Toole oversaw the renovation of the American Family Amphitheater and the construction of the BMO Harris Stage, Briggs Big Backyard, the Miller Stage, the new Generac Stage and various other projects. Outside work, O’Toole played at the Big Gig for 17 years in a row with his band, H2OH

O’Toole worked with the Milwaukee Brewers to build Miller Park and make improvements to the stadium over the years. At the start of this season, he contributed to various projects accompanying the park’s name change to American Family Field. Most recently, O’Toole worked on a multi-year renovation of Foley & Lardner’s offices in Milwaukee.

O’Toole earned many awards for his work in the construction industry. He also lent his time and expertise to organizations both inside and outside the industry. He, for instance, served on the Association of General Contractor’s National Board of Directors and had a seat on its local board. He separately served on the AGC of Greater Milwaukee’s Construction Leadership Management Council and helped negotiate union contracts in southeast Wisconsin.

Even before his cancer diagnosis, O’Toole believed in the healing power of music and spent time on the board of directors of Musicians On Call, a Nashville-based nonprofit group that brings music to the bedsides of hospital patients. O’Toole was central to the development of a virtual-performance program and was recently voted vice chairman of the group’s board.

He also volunteered on both the local and national boards of directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and received honors for his work with the organization’s Wisconsin chapter.

O’Toole is survived by his wife; his brothers-in-law, John and Jim Hunzinger, and their families; his daughter, Kelly (Dave Zierden); his son Ryan, (Jamie O’Toole); and his grandchildren, Caroline and Brendan Zierden and Finley and Adelaide O’Toole, among others.

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, at Becker Ritter Funeral Home, 14075 W. North Ave., Brookfield. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon Wednesday, Oct. 27, at St. Charles Catholic Church, 313 Circle Drive, Hartland.

Donations in O’Toole’s memory may be made to: Kevin O’Toole Wish Fund at Make-A-Wish WI or to Musicians on Call.

About Nate Beck, [email protected]

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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