ROGERSVILLE — James Douglas Tolbert, age 93, of Rogersville, passed away Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at Signature Health Care of Rogersville after a period of declining health.

He was born in Humboldt, TN. Jim grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He served in the U.S. Navy in the European Theater during WW II. While stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, he met Frances Armstrong, who was from Rogersville, and was serving in the U.S. Navy. They were married at the Jung Hotel in New Orleans, in August 1946.

Jim worked as a supermarket chain executive in various locations in the United States, Puerto Rico and Caracas, Venezuela. Upon retiring, Jim and Frances moved to Rogersville where he purchased his beloved farm. He started out with a hobby greenhouse, growing orchids for his wife Frances. This developed into Tolbert’s Garden Center, growing the most beautiful plants, specializing in geraniums. He loved his farm and enjoyed the bountiful wildlife. His one disappointment was not seeing a black bear on the farm.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Frances Foard Armstrong Tolbert and son, James (Jimmy) Armstrong Tolbert.

Survivors include his son, Robert “Bob” Tolbert and wife, Ren, of Rogersville; granddaughters, Lindsey Cornett and husband, Jimmy, of Bristol, TN and Ashley Bailey, of Johnson City; great-grandsons, Skyler Knox Tolbert Bailey, and Jimmy “June” Ray Cornett, Jr.; daughter-in-law, Sherry Tolbert, of Rogersville; and great-grandnieces, Summer Jackson and Ashlyn Jackson.

A very special thank you to Signature Healthcare of Rogersville for their kindness and excellent care given to “Papo” during his illness.

Graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, 2019, at Highland Cemetery with Rev. Rodney Norris officiating.

Memorials may be sent to Rogersville Presbyterian Church Scholarship Fund, 309 West Kyle St,, Rogersville, TN 37857 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142.

Online condolences may be made at

Broome Funeral Home, of Rogersville, is honored to serve the Tolbert family.