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John W. Tolson

July 7, 1928 February 17, 2019
John W. Tolson
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Obituary for John W. Tolson

John Walter Tolson was born July 7, 1928. He was the son of Nellie Rebecca and Eugene Tate in Zacata, Virginia. He passed from this life to His heavenly home on Sunday Febuary 17, 2019.

John "Poppi" Tolson recieved his education from Westmoreland County and DC public Schools. After moving to Washington, D.C. he graduated from Armstrong Senior High School allegedly. Soon after graduating John entered the U.S. Army so he says and was stationed in both the Philippines and Korea. After being honorably discharged he returned home to Washington D.C., where he married and became the father of 4 children. He was employed by the U.S. Navy Yard during this time.

In 1953 after moving to Philadelphia, he met the love of his life, Helen Ruth Settles. They courted for 8 long years, finally marrying on August 19, 1961 and they settled in York PA. After freelancing as a photographer for years he enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography in 1963. John was such a talented photographer. He completed his four year course in two years. He continued to freelance through the years as well as teach seminars, but he was best known for wedding photography. He was a man of many talents and many jobs, a renaissance man if you will. He volunteered for 50th Ward community ambulance company. He worked for Florsheim Shoe Company for 4 years. He then obtained his license as an insurance agent and went to work for North Carolina Mutual, the First all African American Insurance company. He also sold insurance for Prudential and Travelers insurance agencies. In 1973 he began working for Caterpillar Tractor Company , where he was a foreman until he retired in 1997 after 24 years of service.
John aka Honest John as he called himself was always helping people, family and friends. He would change tires, paint, landscape, consult on home purchases, insurance policies and drove every clergy member of every church he ever attended. He would drive up and down the east coast. The avid traveler that he was, favorite pastime was Sunday drives with his children to airports and historical landmarks in Washington DC, New Jersey and Delaware. The trips were fun and eventful. He loved watching westerns, medical dramas, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, Jacques Cousteau and detective shows. Poppi loved to read and gain information from Readers Digest, Consumer Reports, and Sunday newspapers. He loved crossword puzzles and word searches. His smirk and sense of humor will be greatly missed.

He was preceded in death by parents Nellie and Eugene, wife Helen, brother Charles, children Diane and John, son-in laws Ellsworth and Rudolph, and grandchildren Micheal and Russell.

Those left to cherish his memory are children Paulette, Dorothy, Denise and Duane,
daugther-in-laws Margret and Sonya , grandchildren Shikyra, Shanna, Kenneth, Zarchariah, John, Albert, Shana, Lennetta, Kerry, Allison, Rudolph Jr, Michelle, John Jr, Samantha, Gary, Careese and Kennedi. 22 great grands and 4 great great grandchildren along with a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and bonus grandchildren.

He leaves us his collection of elephant figures, cameras and an autographed Bible.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

23

Feb

9:00 AM 2/23/2019 9:00:00 AM - 10:00 AM 2/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
Bible Tabernacle

361 S.Pine St.
York, PA 17401

Bible Tabernacle
361 S.Pine St. York 17401 PA
United States

Service

Saturday

23

Feb

10:00 AM 2/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
Bible Tabernacle

361 S.Pine St.
York, PA 17401

Bible Tabernacle
361 S.Pine St. York 17401 PA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Mt. Rose Cemetery Final Resting Place

1502 Mt. Rose Avenue
York, PA 17403

1502 Mt. Rose Avenue York 17403 PA
United States
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