Kenneth Duane Tolbert Obituary

Kenneth Duane Tolbert

Feb 18, 1939-Jul 26, 2020
Resided in Boyd, Texas
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Kenneth Duane Tolbert was born on the 18th of February, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois, to Frankie and Ophelia Tolbert. Kenneth passed away on the 26th of July, 2020, in Boyd, Texas, at the age of 81 years.

Kenny grew up in Garden City, Kansas, alongside his siblings Dale, William (Bill) and Hazel. Kenny graduated from Garden City Highschool as the first ever African American Student Council president. After serving in the U.S. Army, Kenny attended the University of Kansas. Upon graduation from KU, he began working for IBM as a systems engineer, where he remained for over 30 years. When he retired, Kenny decided to move to a small community and assume a slower, more comfortable lifestyle.

Kenny was a Volkswagen enthusiast and enjoyed tinkering with the vehicles in his shop. He rebuilt several models and spent a great deal of time communicating with like-minded people nationwide. Kenny was also an avid reader and collector. When he was not immersed in his hobbies, Kenny ejoyed visiting with family and friends. One of his endeavors late in life, was the preservation of his family legacy. The roots of Kenny's family date back to the Exodusters, who were ex-slaves who had moved to Kansas to start a new life as free people, and settled the town of Nicodemus shortly after the end of the Civil War.

Those who knew Kenny remembered him as a man of great intelligence and kindness. He served as an inspiration and motivator to the younger members of his family, as well as to those in his community.

Kenny is preceded in death by his parents, Frankie and Ophelia Tolbert, and by his siblings, Dale, William (Bill) and Hazel.

Kenny is survived by his daughter, Kathi Neal, of Hayward, California, his nieces, Melanie Hanes, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Staci Marinez of North Chesterfield, Virginia, Morgan Lucas, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Keely Campbell, of Saint Louis, Missouri, his newphews, Jeff Tolbert, of Kansas City, Missouri, Lance Tolbert, of Phoenix, Arizona, Lawrence Tolbert, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Jeff Faulkner, of Saint Louis, Missouri, as well as by a host of cousins, great nieces and great nephews.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, services will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation in Kenny’s name to the National Museum of African American History & Culture.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands at the times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at the times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King Jr.


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