Remembering Sam Tolbert

Habersham Co. - Samuel Linton Tolbert, 72, of Clarkesville passed away in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Feb. 5 following a battle with cancer.

Born in Mt. Airy, Georgia on March 28, 1947, Tolbert was the youngest son of Boyd and Farris Garrison Tolbert, Sr.  Tolbert was a United States Army Veteran having honorably served his country in Vietnam.

Tolbert graduated with a BA Degree from Piedmont College and later from Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science. 

In 1977, alongside his wife Martha, together they founded Hillside Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Clarkesville, Georgia. His commitment to his community was demonstrated by his profound level of selfless service to others as a true Southern undertaker. 

Tolbert would later serve the City of Clarkesville as Councilman from 1986 until 1991 and as Mayor from 1992 until 2005 further demonstrating his passion for making the community in which he lived a better place for all.

Tolbert would later realize a lifelong dream of developing a perpetual care cemetery, Hillside Gardens, adjacent to Hillside Memorial Chapel. He served as President of the Independent Funeral Directors of Georgia in 2009 and was a member of the Past Presidents Club. 

Tolbert had an appreciation for preserving history through collecting primitive antiques, Southern folk pottery, and baseball memorabilia, among other things. He was a member of Mt. Airy Masonic Lodge # 141 F&AM, Gideons International, Yaarab Shrine Temple, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite - Valley of Atlanta as well as Bethlehem Baptist Church.

In addition to his parents, Tolbert was preceded in death by daughter Amy Lynn Tolbert and brothers Boyd Tolbert, Jr., Ed Tolbert, Ray Tolbert, and Max Tolbert.

Survivors include his loving wife of 48 years Martha Ballew Tolbert of Clarkesville, daughter Michelle Tolbert Barron and husband Casey of Mt. Airy, son and daughter in law Brent and Stephanie Tolbert of Clarkesville, his precious grandboys Grant Casey Barron, Samuel Brent Tolbert, II, and Linton Garrison Tolbert, and his beloved dog Daisy Girl.  

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 2:00 p.m. at Hillside Memorial Chapel. 

Rev. Kenneth McEntire, Rev. Connie Berry and Rev. Chip Cranford will officiate with interment to follow the service in Hillside Gardens Cemetery. 

The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday, Feb. 7, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

His son, Brent, says "Our family appreciates your continued thoughts and prayers during this time."

An online guest book is available at

Arrangements by Hillside Memorial Chapel & Gardens, Clarkesville, Georgia (706) 754-6256