Cover photo for Betty Jean Tolbert's Obituary
Betty Jean Tolbert Profile Photo
1939 Betty 2013

Betty Jean Tolbert

June 7, 1939 — January 18, 2013

My beautiful mother, Betty Jean Tolbert, was born June 7, 1939 in Clanton, Alabama. She was the oldest of four daughters. Her father was a welder and her mother was a practical nurse, and their jobs moved them westward over the years. Betty lived her younger years on farms in Alabama, and her beloved Aunt Roxy also helped raise her. She and the family lived a short time in Colorado before moving to Southern California in 1951.

After graduating from Manual Arts High in Los Angeles, California at age 16, Betty went to work for Pacific Bell Phone Company as a switchboard operator. In 1961 she married Henry Oglesby and later divorced in 1979. She also worked for Standard Oil Co. and volunteered in my schools over the years as an Indian Education Teacher. She later worked for Hershey Chocolate until she retired in 1997.

She had many interests and hobbies including gardening, sewing/quilting, church activities, reading, movie trivia, jewelry making, and music. She loved anything to do with her Native American Heritage of Cherokee and Creek Indians. She was very fond of anything related to Disney, Coca-Cola, Hershey Chocolate, and Ireland. During the 1980's and 90's, her health allowed her to visit New Zealand, Hawaii, New York, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. She loved to travel and her dream career would have been exploring the world as a Wildlife Photographer! Betty dearly loved the warmth and sunshine.

She was passionate about her love of the Lord, America, and saving wildlife and the environment. She shared and passed those passions on to me. She taught me to be considerate of others, never miss an opportunity to tell others you love them, and don't be afraid to show affection. She firmly believed in hard work and helping others whenever and however she could, even at great expense to her own comfort and means. She never shirked a request and tried to be as cheerful as possible, even when her health was failing.

She fought against a hereditary heart disease most of her life and joked she was 'President of the Zipper Club' after having three open heart surgeries=12 bypasses.

Eventually a massive heart attack and severe stroke with following complications took her home to be with the Lord on Friday, January 18, 2013. Although we are heartbroken, we are all thankful she is finally pain free.

She is survived by me and her son-in-law, Cindy and Glen Riggs; grandsons, Jake and Ethan Riggs; and sisters, Bobbie Barber, Glenda Tolbert, and Billie Tolbert.

She is preceded in death by her parents, JD and Mae Lee Tolbert.

She has touched many lives, tried to give of herself completely, and will be forever in our hearts. She will be fondly remembered and sorely missed by her immediate family as well as Henry Oglesby; step-son Tony Oglesby and wife Judy; in laws Temple and Joyce Riggs; dearest friends The Schroeder's and Lang's; many beloved family members in Georgia and Alabama, her Church of Christ family, and many friends in California and Oregon.

In following with her love of the environment, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Friends of the Library, or a tree planted in her honor.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Jean Tolbert, please visit our flower store.


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