Carlton Eugene Tolbert, Sr., 79, departed this life on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at Keystone Hospice Care, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania after a valiant fight with cancer, assisted by his loving son and daughter-in-law, Carlton, Jr. and Robin. Carlton was born on September 12, 1933 in Elkton, Maryland to the late Oscar and Mary (Brown) Tolbert.
"Cartie" was a life-long avid fisherman. As a young boy, he would sneak off through the backwoods of Conowingo (if Mary only knew) to fish off the shore of the Susquehanna, using his make-shift fishing pole with safety-pin hook. Later, he bought a boat to pursue this love. Then he took fishing excursions with like-minded friends. He shared his bounty with friends and acquaintances, some of whom would cook up their prizes for his dinner. Carlton could do anything he set his mind to, from fishing and hunting, to auto mechanics, to home renovations—he and his father (whom he considered his best friend) tackled many projects together, including building his first home. They would consult and debate about the best way to approach, and if it wasn't just right, they would tear it out and start over. It had to be right! And! Carlton was happy to help anyone with his acquired and practiced expertise! Beware to those who he would later hire to perform various tasks for him—you'd better get it right too!!
He was a candid kind of fella, but his fondness for you was often expressed by his witty, dry sense of humor. He could be pretty, and often unexpectedly, funny! Cartie's story-telling was always a treat, even if you'd heard it before—right Junior, Joycie? He could talk among the best of them!
After serving in the United States Army, Carlton continued service as a civilian at Perry Point Veterans Hospital and Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). He retired from APG. During his tenure at APG, he supervised staff in the artillery repair unit. His insistence on excellence earned him many awards and commendations, all the while being an activist for workers' rights, particularly those of African Americans. Even in that, he was a taskmaster who brooked no excuses! After retiring from APG, he spent years working part-time at Village Volvo, Walmart, and Home Depot before retiring again. To family, the part time jobs seemed more like social hour than work! He renewed old acquaintances and/or was remembered by their children, and discovered many new friends.
Carlton was a lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He was a 33rd degree Mason (The 33rd is an honorary degree given for long or exceptional service).
Carlton is preceded in death by his parents and sister Lucille. He leaves to cherish his memory brother Irvin C. Tolbert of Conowingo, Maryland and foster sister Gay Bryant of Perry Point, Maryland; two children: Joycelyn Mills Wilson of Columbus, Ohio and Carlton, Jr. (Robin) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; five grandchildren: Manuel, Miranda, and Gabriel Wilson; Michelle (Robert) Campbell, and Ashley Tolbert; nieces and nephews: Steven, Mary Esther, Ezzie, Lisa, Sylvia, Mark, their children; friend and former wife, Christine Presberry Tolbert, to whom he was married for 54 years; many other relatives and friends.
Services will be held at 12:00 noon at Hosanna African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2418 Castleton Road, Darlington, MD 21034 on Saturday, June 15, 2013. Family will receive friends from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon. Interment will be in Berkley Cemetery, Darlington, MD immediately following service.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting contributions be made in his name to Lung Cancer Alliance, PO Box 418372, Boston, MA 02241-8372, or to the Keystone Hospice, 8765 Stenton Avenue, Wyndmoor, PA 19038.