Joseph Pitman Tolbert

Born: Sun., Sep. 26, 1926
Died: Mon., May 10, 2010

- Service details not available -

Print Obituary   Home Page All Obituaries


Joseph Pitman “Joe” Tolbert, 83, of the Liberty Community in Greene County died Monday, May 10, 2010. A native of Greene County, he was born on September 26, 1926, and was the son of the late Lawrence Tolbert and Libby Wagnon Tolbert. Joe graduated from Greensboro High School in 1943 and attended college at the University of Georgia until his education was interrupted by his enlistment in the United States Army. He very proudly and honorably served his country in the Philippines in World War II. After the conclusion of the war he worked for a short stint at Sears, where he met his wife Betty, and then reenlisted in the Army. He retired from the Army in 1968 after serving as a food inspector and veterinary assistant in Tokyo, Japan, Fort Wainwright, Alaska and Atlanta, Georgia. Joe then began a second career with the Georgia Department of Agriculture; he retired in 1987 and moved fulltime to the home he and Betty built in White Plains. Joe was an active participant at Liberty Methodist Church where he taught Sunday school for 25 years. He often cheerfully lamented that his fellow parishioners remembered him more for being the provider of the fish for the annual fish fry than for anything he taught them in Sunday school. His family is confident that the manner in which Joe led his life for 83 years was the most powerful and enduring lesson he could impart to any observer. Joe loved his family quietly but immensely. For many years he and Betty enjoyed hosting each of their extended families for a summer fish fry at their home. He was a man of great determination and inner strength. When he set his mind to do something, he persevered no matter the obstacles nor how long it took to accomplish his objective. Betty and Joe enjoyed a traditional marriage; she was responsible for the inside and he for the outside. After Betty’s death, Joe learned to cook and operate the washing machine-no easy feat at the age of 75. He didn’t mind the cooking he said, but he despised the washing up. He often commented in recent years that he regretted not paying closer attention to what Betty was doing in the kitchen for 50 years. Joe was a lifelong and passionate fisherman. He also loved to talk about fishing and to tinker with his rods, reels and worms. Joe’s favorite fishing pal was his beloved son Barry. They spent their happiest hours together on Lake Oconee doing nothing but fishing and enjoying each other’s company. They may be the only fishermen on the lake that fished so often that they actually caught the same fish two years in a row. Joe was predeceased by his cherished wife of 52 years, Betty and his baby brother Danny. He leaves to cherish his memory his loyal and loving son and best friend Barry and wife Geraldine and his three grandchildren Connor, Ciara and Cormac; his beloved sisters Leila Tolbert and Gloria Norton and her husband Dan, sister in law Katherine (Billie) Harr, brother in law Calvin Fitzpatrick and his wife Susie as well as nieces and nephews Paul Harr, Gail Harr Heath, Loretta Gilbert, Monica Pearman, Catherine Norton, John Norton, Leanne Norton Long, Joseph Tolbert, Casey Tolbert Smith, Walter Fitzpatrick and a host of cousins, great nieces and great nephews. The family sends special thanks and appreciation to Joe’s Liberty Church family, especially his thoughtful and devoted friends Don and Mickey Skinner, his friend from first grade, Jack Merritt and his wife Montine, the compassionate people at Willow Run Retirement Home, his faithful friend and housekeeper Esther Champion, Dr. Cheves and his caring staff, and the dedicated professionals at MCG ICU- Bo, Stewart, and Mindy and all the doctors who cared for him so compassionately in his final illness. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at Liberty United Methodist Church with Rev. Edward Swehla and Rev. David Jordan officiating. Burial will follow in the Penfield Cemetery with full military honors. Serving as pallbearers are John Norton, Charlie Berry, Bob Hixon, Bob Mathews, Joe Tolbert and Paul Harr. Flowers are welcomed or in the alternative memorials may be made in Joe’s name to Liberty United Methodist Church, c/o Ann Smith, 2491 Shiloh Road, Greensboro, GA 30642 or Penfield Baptist Church, 3881 Nichols Road, Union Point, GA 30669. The family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night at McCommons Funeral Home. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at to sign the online guest register.

Click to send flowers using our local area florist
Free delivery to our funeral home & save on wire fees
View/Sign the Guest Book

Click the button to generate a printable document containing all condolences submitted

Condolence Booklet

Loretta and Rick Gilbert
   Posted Tue May 11, 2010
Uncle Joe was so easy to love, so likable. We continue to hold a special place in our heart for Uncle Joe.

   Posted Tue May 11, 2010

Marie Burden
   Posted Tue May 11, 2010
So sorry to hear about Mr. Tolbert. I got to know him while I was working at the Greene County Tax Commissioner's Office. He was such a nice man. I will keep the family in my prayers!!!

Sonja LaVigne
   Posted Tue May 11, 2010
Barry and Gerry, You are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Please accept my deepest sympathies in your loss. Sonja LaVigne

Elaine Cantrell
   Posted Tue May 11, 2010
With deepest sympathy in your time of loss.

Lourdes and Vincenzo Di Pietro
   Posted Tue May 11, 2010
Barry, Gerry, and family, May you feel God's loving presence as He helps and comforts you during this time. Know that Grace gives us the courage to accept what we cannot change. Love, Lourdes and Vincenzo

Carroll C. Underwood
   Posted Wed May 12, 2010
My sympathy to the family. We have seen a good man go to be with his savior. I was reared with him, attended Enon Baptist Church with him, visted to ride his bicycle on Sunday afternoons.Never a cross or foul word uttered.Other experiences with he and Betty and Barry in East pint. had long conversation with him just a few months ago. Sorry to see him leave us.

   Posted Wed May 12, 2010
My coldences to Mr. Tolbert's family

Lanelle Underwood LaRue
   Posted Wed May 12, 2010
I am saddened to hear of Joseph's death. My prayers and thoughts will be with both of you.

Jan Hallman
   Posted Thu May 13, 2010
Barry & Geri, So sorry to hear about Mr. Joseph. He will so greatly missed and especially missed at the boat ramp swapping fishing stories with our youngest son, Robert. Was glad to be able to see you all while we were down. Our deepest sympathies to all of you. Jan and David Hallman, Josh and Robert

Robert & Annette Dowdy
   Posted Thu May 13, 2010
Lelia,Gloria,Barry & family, We were so sorry to hear of your loss.We always enjoyed talking to Mr. Joe when he came in the store. He always had something cheerful to say. He will be missed by many. Robert & Annette Dowdy

Stacy & Sally Adams
   Posted Fri May 14, 2010
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.