Jo Perry Tolbert

Published 6:29 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

AHOSKIE, NC – Jo Perry Tolbert passed away peacefully in the early morning of March 15, 2019 at the age of 69. She was under the loving care of her husband, children, caregivers, and hospice.

A native of Bertie County, NC, Jo was the wife of John B. Tolbert and the daughter of the late John E. M. and Carrie Jo Perry. She is survived by her son, Joseph M. “Sonny” Browne, III of Greenville, NC; her daughter, Johnna Browne Lewis, and husband Willard Lewis; and her grandsons, Logan H. P. Chapman and Robert E. M. Chapman, all of Roxobel, NC. An only child, she is also survived by her Aunt Helen Thompson and her husband Charles Thompson of Suffolk, VA, and her Aunt Betty Todd of Merry Hill, NC, her uncle Wallace Perry and his wife Shirley Perry of Wakelon, her Aunt Esther Perry of Wakelon, as well as numerous cousins and their families.

Raised in Wakelon, NC, Jo was a graduate of Bertie High School and Chowan University. After graduation, she worked for lawyers Carter Jones and Ben Graham in Ahoskie until she became a stay at home mom to Sonny and Johnna. Once Sonny and Johnna were both school-aged, Jo decided she wanted to become a teacher. Jo worked diligently and graduated from East Carolina University with her bachelor’s degree in Education in 1989. Jo and John married in 1991. Jo taught school at West Bertie Elementary and in 2003 was one of the first in Bertie County to achieve National Board Certification. Her teaching career ended as she started her battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was beloved teacher and a cherished co-worker. In 2015, Jo and John moved to Ahoskie.

A funeral will be held on Saturday, March 23 at 11:00 am at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Windsor, NC with her son, The Reverend Canon Sonny Browne and The Reverend Bonnie J. Smith officiating, followed by a reception to celebrate Jo’s life at St. Thomas parish hall. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery in Colerain.

Memorial donations may be made directly to St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Windsor, PO Box 400, Windsor, NC 27983; or directly the Alzheimer’s Association Eastern North Carolina Chapter at 1305 Navaho Drive, Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27609 or online by visiting fund: type, Jo Tolbert; or support your local public-school teachers’ classroom.

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Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service, Ahoskie NC, has been given the honor of being entrusted with serving the Tolbert family.