SF learns: Lefty O’Doul’s Santa passes away (photos, video)
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — San Francisco residents are learning in top news today that one of San Francisco’s most famous Santas has passed away.
John Toomey, age 69, rose to fame in San Francisco after he was fired from being Santa Claus at San Francisco’s Union Square Macy’s store.
According to ABC 7 News in San Francisco, John Toomey was found on Friday in his room at the residential hotel he lived in.
His death, according to police, is not said to be suspicious.
“I’m sad to hear of his passing,” says San Francisco resident, Katie McDonald. “I was pleased when Santa got another job straight away last year. That worked for the happy ending children of every age need”
Toomey became famous in the City by the Bay when he was fired from his long-time Santa job at Macy’s Union Square because an adult who had sat on his lap complained about him making an off-color joke.
Right after he had been fired, however, Lefty O’Doul’s Bar And Restaurant hired him instead, and Toomey went on to lead that store in a record toy drive.
“Last year he worked from 5 in the morning until 2 a.m. the next day, until the last toy was brought out and delivered to the kids. It’s a great loss and we’re very sad,” said Lefty O’Doul’s owner Nick Bovis.
San Francisco’s Lefty O’Doul’s had wanted to bring Toomey back again this Christmas. Now, that job is open to new applicants.
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See video and slideshow on the left-hand side of this article for more on this story.
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