Obituaries » Gloria Jean Nolen Tolbert

Gloria Jean Nolen Tolbert

March 26, 1946 - September 9, 2023

Gloria Jean Nolen Tolbert, 77, of Roanoke, Virginia, claimed the Promise of the Resurrection on Saturday, September 9, 2023.  She was the oldest of four children born to B.M. Nolen and Redith Wells Nolen.

Gloria was born on March 26, 1943, in West Virginia. She spent her early years growing up on Mill Mountain where her father was caretaker of the park.   She loved going to the Zoo (then known as The Children’s Zoo) and playing with the animals.  That was the beginning of her love for all of God’s creatures.

She pursued many careers in her life after marriage including clerk at SuperX (now CVS), foster parent and mother to her four children, of which she was most proud.  She was a member of Riverdale Baptist Church for many years helping wherever she was needed at church.

Gloria is survived by one daughter, Sharon Jewell; adopted granddaughter, Robin Tolbert; sister, Shirley Klinger (Ken); brother (adopted nephew), Justin Nolen; and very devoted niece, Loretta “Sissy” Roberts; 11 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Gloria was predeceased by her husband, Edward Tolbert, Sr.; daughter, Mary Gross; son, Edward Tolbert, Jr.; and daughter, Angela Davis.

As you can see, Gloria went through many tough times in her lifetime and said she would never have gotten through them without her belief in God.  She was a woman of strong faith and always gave credit to God for everything – good or bad.  She was always so afraid of upsetting or hurting other people’s feelings she neglected her own for them.  She would give anyone, especially her daughters, anything they asked for if she had it and do without herself.

She had a saying she used frequently, “ONE DAY – IT’LL BE OK”.  Her “One Day” has happened, and she is definitely OK.  She is now with most of her family and in her Heavenly Father’s arms.

Needless to say, Gloria will be missed.

There was no viewing or service, pursuant to her request.

Tharpe Funeral Home, Roanoke, is assisting the family. To send condolences, please visit

Condolences & Tributes

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Dear aunt jean I will forever cherish the last memories we had together they are so precious to my heart. You said you would keep my promise you promised me the thing I had ask you to do and I now belive you did just that bc I know you. I love you very very much and will think of you often. Like the song says I can only imagine what your eyes are now seeing. I know you are happy and surrounded by your missed loved ones who you couldn't wait to see again I know my mom was thrilled to see you and she probably huge you so tight. Til I see you again I will carry you in my heart with me I love you so much. Fly high my angel and like you always said to me just know I love you bunches and it will be ok.....sissy

Posted by Sissy roberts on September 12, 2023

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