Ellen Etta Tolbert

Obituary of Ellen Etta Tolbert

Ellen Etta Tolbert, 99, passed away peacefully on July 8, 2019. 

Born in Brownville, NY she was the daughter of the late Howard and Addie Pearl Robinson. She graduated from the Brownville-Glen Park High School and the Watertown School of Commerce. She celebrated 76 years of marriage with her husband, George W. Tolbert. They married in 1938. For a time they worked together at the Tolbert Auto Electric Company, but they sold the business when George was recalled to active duty in the Air Force in 1951. Ellen lived a peripatetic life after that as her husband was assigned to tours of duty in England and many locations across the United States. She packed up households and four children with assorted pets and made her way to the next assignment. She did it with grace and good humor and made it look easy. 

Ellen had a long career at the National Bank of Northern New York located in Watertown, NY. She started work there in 1962 in the bookkeeping department. She was soon promoted to the position of secretary to the bank president and then became Secretary to the Board of Directors in 1971. She was promoted to loan officer and became second Vice President in 1977. She was the president of the Jeff-Lewis Chapter of the American Institute of Banking. 

Ellen had a life-long love of physical activity. She played basketball in school, was in many bowling leagues, and rode her bicycle back and forth to work whenever weather permitted. After retirement in 1977 she kept active with golf, swimming and walking. She also loved to read, do crossword and jigsaw puzzles and hand-hooked beautiful wool rugs. She and George loved to travel and managed to visit more than 30 countries in their years together. It amazed her that a girl from a tiny mill town in northern New York grew up to travel around the world. 

Her beloved husband, George, predeceased her in 2015. She missed him every day. She is survived by her children Cynthia (William) Whalen of Saratoga Springs, William (Patricia) Tolbert of Waterford, Linda (Jeff) Adams of Keichi, LA and Phyllis Tolbert of Albany. Also survived by her grandchildren: Gregory Pulenskey, Jennifer Thomas, Kate Sartin, Todd Tolbert, Brian Murray and Jessica Page; 11 great-grandchildren, 2 step great-grandchildren, 5 great-great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Arthur Robinson.

Ellen’s children are very grateful to Eddy Village Green in Cohoes. The wonderful staff at House 24 cared for her with great kindness, respect and good cheer. 

A private service and internment will take place at Saratoga National Cemetery. 

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Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery
200 Duell Road
Schuylerville, New York, United States


A private service and internment will take place at Saratoga National Cemetery. 
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