Russell G. “Toby” D’Oench III ’92 was a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and a co-founder of the North Star Fund, a Manhattan-based charity organization that raises money for grassroots community outreach groups. He passed away on January 23, 2012, at the age of 58.
Raised in Middletown, Conn., D’Oench was the great-great-grandson of shipping and chemicals magnate William Russell Grace, New York City’s first Roman Catholic mayor. Grace gained wide renown for his philanthropy—a tradition that D’Oench continued.
After graduating from Wesleyan University in 1977, D’Oench lived in a black township in apartheid-era South Africa and raised money there for a school and library. After returning to the United States, he and a group of co-founders launched the North Star Fund, which since its inception has distributed $35 million to nearly 1,700 groups promoting equality and economic justice in New York City. D’Oench remained at the fund for seven years before leaving to pursue a career in the law.
After graduating from Columbia Law School, D’Oench clerked for Judge Eugene Nickerson ’43 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. In 2000, he joined the New York City office of Skadden, where he was a partner and a member of the firm’s financial institutions group.
D’Oench is survived by his wife, Tani Takagi; his son, Robin, and daughter, Miye; his sister, Ellen; and his brother, Peter.