Alton Tolley

Obituary of Alton Curtis Tolley

TOLLEY - Alton Curtis Tolley, 91, of Tampa, Florida, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, December 29, 2019.

He was born in Lynchburg, Virginia on September 28, 1928, the son of Aubrey Thomas Tolley and Nonnie Pinion Tolley. Alton was preceded in death by his parents and his one brother, Dr. Aubrey Granville Tolley of Chapel Hill, NC.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years, Helen Berry Tolley.  They were childhood sweethearts and were married in Centenary United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia on March 19, 1950.   Alton is also survived by their three children and spouses, Rebecca Tolley Lockaby (Robert Lockaby), David Alton Tolley (Linda Ketterer Tolley), and Rev. Robert Aubrey Tolley (Vairin Brannan Tolley); six grandchildren, Matthew Lockaby (Elizabeth Leet), Ryan Tolley (Jacquelyn Farruggio Tolley), Daniel Tolley (Kristen Gordon Tolley), Aubrey Tolley, Austin Tolley and Blake Tolley; and three great-grandchildren, Leighton Tolley, Alexandra Tolley, and Abigail Tolley.

Alton loved his family and loved life.  He had a strong Christian faith and was a proud American.  He had a very successful career in retail, retiring in 1988 as a Regional Merchandise Manager for Sears after relocating with the family seven times in six states across the southeast for various promotions.  After his retirement, he and Helen moved back to Tampa and he devoted his time and energy to St. James United Methodist Church in many different roles.  He had a heart attack in April 1991, followed by an unsuccessful heart surgery, and then received a heart transplant in October 1991 at Tampa General Hospital.   He was the oldest heart transplant recipient at that time, but was approved as a candidate because of his positive outlook on life and his strong family support.   He was given a three to five year life expectancy with the new heart, and yet lived for 28 years.  He and Helen moved to Concordia Village of Tampa in April 2015, where Alton was also very active in resident leadership roles.     

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM at St. James United Methodist Church, 16202 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Tampa, Florida 33647 on Friday, January 3, 2020.  A brief visitation will be held at the church after the service.   A private family interment will be held at a future date.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. James United Methodist Church in Alton’s memory.

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Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 am
Friday, January 3, 2020
St. James United Methodist Church
16202 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, Florida, United States
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