|Death: ||Apr. 10, 2009|
TOMMY TOLBERT, 79, WAVED FLAG WITH PRIDE IN ARMY, STATE LEGISLATURE
By RICK BADIE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Tommy Tolbert was a Republican in the General Assembly when Georgia was basically a one-party state.
That didn't keep the DeKalb County legislator from showing his patriotism through legislation.
Mr. Tolbert co-wrote, for example, a 1976 bill that required all Georgia schoolchildren be given the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day.
And he sponsored a bill that would keep draft dodgers from teaching in public schools.
"I thought it was great, and I think most people thought it was great," Mr. Tolbert said in 2001 of the pledge legislation.
"It put a little pride in our heart and in our country, too."
He was a staunch fiscal conservative, too.
"He always said he just wanted to create laws and do things that helped people, but that wouldn't cost the taxpayers any money," said his daughter, Terri Bland of Snellville.
Mr. Tolbert had the ability to work across party lines, said his son, Tommy Tolbert Jr. of Snellville.
"He was well thought of by the Democratic Party," his son said.
"People like [the late DeKalb County political baron] Manuel J. Maloof and other folks involved in county politics would tell me that, even though he was in a different party, he worked well with them."
Small-business owners appreciated his legislative prowess. The National Federation of Independent Business gave him its Guardian of Small Business Award for his 1991-92 voting record.
Claude Thomas Tolbert, 79, of Snellville died Friday from complications of Alzheimer's disease at Parkwood Nursing and Rehab Center in Snellville. The funeral is 2 p.m. Tuesday at Tom M. Wages Snellville Chapel.
Mr. Tolbert grew up in Maysville in Banks County. He joined the Army and served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
He earned the Bronze Star and the World War II Victory Medal, among other honors, and retired as a lieutenant colonel.
He oversaw the Atlanta City Schools ROTC program for 20 years.
"Daddy often made the statement that the military service was good to him," his son said, "and he showed appreciation for it throughout his career.
"He loved his country and was a very patriotic person. He instilled in me respect for the uniform."
Additional survivors include his wife, Bessie Tolbert of Snellville; another son, Ted Tolbert of Gainesville; two other daughters, Barbara Hawkins of Loganville and Cindy Hetherington of Snellville; three stepsons, Larry Carter of Lake Martin, Ala., Johnny Carter of Suwanee and Tommy Cook of Lawrenceville; a sister, Beth Tolbert of Atlanta; and eight grandchildren.
Willa Faye Hosler Tolbert (1932 - 2000)
Eternal Hills Cemetery
Created by: ReLyRoTh
Record added: May 25, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37471920