Ramon Duane Tolbert, also known as Ray, Dad, Mr. T and Tony, was born September 18, 1930. After a brief stay in the hospital and rehab center, he passed away the evening of March 1, 2021.
Ray grew up in rural Idaho along with his sister Barbara (Anderson), and the two of them having a loving and kind upbringing. Ray’s father, Jerome Tolbert was Jewish, and his mother, Hester Scott was a Methodist. Both Ray’s parents were very well educated and hard working. Jerome was a principal, and superintendent of public instruction. Ray grew up during the depression; anti-semitism was prevalent. Firing someone because they were Jewish was not illegal which caused Ray’s family to move many times. Ray struggled in school, was unacceptably left-handed and dyslexic but found community in sports and lettered in all of them. Ray went to complete his education in the Navy, joining in 1948. While in the Navy, he was stationed in Seattle where he met his wife, Gloria Jackson.
Ray and Gloria first met at Seattle’s historic Tianon Ballroom. After several attempts to get her to dance, Gloria finally agreed. The couple married in 1949. Ray and Gloria were inseparable. During their long marriage they enjoyed many things together. They went dancing regularly and were long standing members of the Bonnets and Bows, a square dance club in Ballard. They also loved camping and went as much as possible. They made all decisions together and would eventually co-own a small business (Northwest Electronics, later known as Security World) which they started out of their home in 1978. They worked together for 20 years until they sold their company and retired.
Ray was very social and engaged in his community. He served on several boards and community business groups. He was respectful and open minded. He accepted people for who they were. He encouraged his daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to do their best at school and work and to vote person over party.
Ray had an endless sense of humor, used “I love you” liberally, loved ice cream and most of all, loved his wife of 71 years. Without Gloria he wouldn’t have seen his 90th birthday. Over the years, as his health declined, she kept him going (even his doctor said so).
Ramon is survived by his wife, Gloria (Jackson)Tolbert, his sister Barbara (Tolbert) Anderson, daughters Terry (Tolbert) Sigler and husband Paul, and Rita Tolbert-Sheckler. Grandchildren Trina Burget, Crystal Morrill, Danielle Sigler, Samantha Ramon Sheckler, Jacob Sheckler. Great grandchildren Talan Burget and Avery Sigler. His cat Mushi, many other family members, friends, and his many neighbors in the Ballard neighborhood where he resided for over 67 years. Ramon was predeceased by his daughter Jackie Ray and will be laid to rest with her at the Washelli Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ramon’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association.