Helen Berry Tolley, 93, of Tampa, Florida, went to be with the Lord
on Sunday, January 8, 2023.
Helen was born in Lynchburg, Virginia on February 22, 1929, the daughter of
Robert Strode Berry and Stella Stauffer Berry. She was preceded in death by her
parents, and by her brothers Robert Strode Berry, Jr (Christine) and Taylor Aubrey
Berry (Julia), and her sister Estelle Berry Wharton (Whit). Helen is survived by her
sister, Lucille Berry Cable (Don).
Helen was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 69 years, Alton Curtis
Tolley. Helen and Alton were childhood sweethearts, and were married in
Centenary Methodist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia on March 19, 1950. Helen is
survived by their three children and their 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 Wheeler (Sean), Austin Tolley, and Blake
Tolley; and four great-grandchildren, Leighton Tolley, Alexandra Tolley, Abigail
Tolley, and Howell Tolley.
Helen was devoted to her family and her strong Christian faith. She gave up a
successful career as a legal secretary to be a dedicated mother and homemaker.
Alton’s career required relocating the family seven times in six states across the
southeast for various promotions as the children were growing up, and Helen
always ensured that the family’s new home was located in the best school district,
and that the family joined the local Methodist church. Helen developed and
maintained deep relationships with friends in each location due to her caring
personality. After Alton’s retirement, Helen and Alton moved back to Tampa and
were active at St. James United Methodist Church in many different roles. Helen
and Alton moved to Concordia Village of Tampa in April 2015. Helen’s family
expresses their sincere gratitude to the Home Health Care providers at Concordia
who went above and beyond in providing Helen with excellent and loving care.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 10:00 AM at St. James United
Methodist Church, 16202 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Tampa, Florida 33647, on
Saturday, January 21, 2023. A brief visitation will be held at the church after the
service. The family will gather for a private interment later that afternoon. The
family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Young Life Tampa Bay,
PO Box 46416, Tampa, FL 33647 in Helen’s memory.
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