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Ronnie "Ron" Tolbert '73 January 11, 2021 3:43 PM updated: January 11, 2021 4:08 PM

Ronnie Edwin Tolbert
October 23, 1950 - December 22, 2020

Dr. Ron “Doc” Tolbert, beloved husband, dad, and friend to many, was born on October 23, 1950 in Bayton, Texas. He passed away on December 22, 2020 in Denton, Texas.

After graduating from Academy Texas High School in 1969, where he earned the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award, he went on to earn an Associate of Arts degree at Temple Junior College. Doc continued his education to receive a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Nutrition from Texas A&M University. During this time, he also conducted research and taught classes to veterinary students.

Doc worked his entire life as an animal nutritionist, both for companies and as a self-employed consultant. In the late 1990s, he wrote a nutritional column for Texas Dairy Review. Throughout his career, he lived and worked in Illinois, California, and Texas. He specialized in ruminant nutrition and particularly enjoyed working with dairy cattle. His expertise carried him throughout the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico. He also traveled professionally to Israel and Jamaica.

For the last nineteen years, Doc worked as a middle school special education teacher. The majority of the time he worked in the social adjustment behavioral classes where he was extremely successful. For the last few years, he was an inclusion teacher. Throughout the years, former students would seek him out and thank him for all he did to help put them on the right course. These students made his teaching profession the most rewarding for him.

Ron also enjoyed mentoring young and new teachers. In addition, he continually mentored many young friends of his daughter at his home as they grew up.

Ron loved old cars, hoping to one day purchase a 1940 Ford Coupe Deluxe before he passed away. He was also an avid baseball fan, collecting verified autographed baseballs and memorabilia. His latest hobby was collecting antique shop tools to hang in his garage.

The summary of his life would be the impact of his kindness on those around him. So much is evidenced by the outpouring of sympathy his family has received. He was a good, loving, and generous man and always available for anyone who needed him.

Ron is survived by his wife of forty-eight years, Kim McMullen Tolbert; his daughter, Kelli Lane Tolbert; his daughter-by-heart, Jayme Bidne Kiraly; his brother, Donald Tolbert, his nieces, nephews, and cousins. He is also survived by several close friends who may not be blood-related, but were and will always be considered family; his little dog, Scooter, and his grand kitties, Nyx and George. All miss him immensely.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made in his name to his favorite charity, Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home (, or a charity of your choice. People in this country are hurting and need as much help as possible.

Due to his prior wishes and COVID, there will be no formal funeral nor visitation. The burial will be private. There will be a Zoom memorial-wake for him, details forthcoming.

© 2010 - 21 Bill DeBerry Funeral Directors. All Rights Reserved.

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