Mr. Fred Armon Toomer

    Who is Fred Armon Toomer?

    Mr. Fred Armon Toomer was born on July 29, 1889 in Byron, Georgia, in a section called Toomerville, named for his ancestors. He was one of ten children born to Lewis Freeman Toomer and Lulu Chisholm Toomer. At an early age Fred was sent to live with relatives in nearby Macon, Georgia so that he could attend school. His high school in Macon, Ballard Academy, was operated by the Congregational Church and it is believed that this is how he later came to join the Congregational denomination.

         His first job was as a newspaper carrier which he used as a means to pay his entrance fee into Atlanta University. He attended Atlanta University from 1906 to 1910 and received the A.B. degree. He paid his own way through college by working as a bell hop at the Piedmont Hotel during the school year, and as a Pullman porter in the summers.

    After Atlanta University, he moved to Chicago where he studied embalming. He then worked for a number of years in Greensboro, North Carolina and in Savannah, Georgia as an embalmer.

    Mr. Toomer started working for Atlanta Life Insurance Company in 1919 as an insurance salesman. Later he was promoted to traveling auditor, then to Chief Auditor and in 1927 to Third Vice-President and a member of the Board of Directors. As Chief Auditor, he supervised a department of about 40 people. Helen Collins, who later became the first female chair of the board of directors, worked under Fred Toomer. She like other members of his department affectionately referred to him as "The Boss."

    It was during his days as a traveling auditor that Fred Toomer met Juanita Paschal in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia. They married on September 20, 1924. The Toomers had no children.

          He served as a trustee of First Congregational Church in Atlanta and was a member of its Covenant Club. He worked with civic organizations such as The United Negro College Fund, the YMCA and the Community Chest. He was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Twenty-Seven Club, a club comprised of married men who met on the 27th of each month with meetings beginning at 8:07 pm. An avid golfer, he served as the president of the New Lincoln Golf Club.

    Mr. Toomer was diagnosed with cancer in 1951. His last battle with the disease was in Memorial Hospital in New York City where he died on August 26, 1961. Seven years after his death, the Atlanta Public School system named a school for him. The Fred A. Toomer School was dedicated on April 21, 1968.
    Obtained from the Digital Library of Georgia: http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/herndon/toomer.html