Rebecca Jane Tolbert, age 81, passed away on November 4, 2019, at her home in Madison, Alabama. Becky, as she was known to her friends, was born in Columbia, SC, to Martin Young Bankhead and Cummings Rawls Bankhead. She was the youngest of three siblings, a tomboy who loved to climb on trees and play tricks on her older sister. Becky was an accomplished pianist and was offered an audition for The Julliard School performing arts conservatory, but she chose another path and graduated from the Columbia Hospital School of Nursing in 1960. Ultimately Becky specialized in psychiatric nursing, but her passion was adolescent psychiatry where she was able to work closely with children, teens and their families. Her career lasted more than 40 years. Becky met and married the love of her life, Dr. Lelland Tolbert, when – long before he had his degree – Le worked for her as an LPN at Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage, Alaska. Becky was the one who convinced Le to go back to school, and he went on to not only finish college but also his Ph.D. Le’s career brought them back to Charleston, South Carolina, and ultimately to Alabama, where she worked at and retired from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Becky loved animals and cooking, and she continued to play piano all her life. She was exceptionally proud of the fact that she had triplet grandchildren. Even after illness and age had stolen many of her memories, she would boast to anyone who would listen about her ‘grand babies’ and their latest achievements.
Becky is survived by her husband of 52 years, Dr. Lelland Tolbert, and their daughter and son-in-law Jennefer and Jeff Meyer, as well as her grandchildren, Katherine (Kate), Harrison (Cooper) and John (Jack) Meyer. She is also survived by her step grandchildren Kaili and Zac Grissim and their children Kolby and Caroline, as well as Nicole and Mike Ringers and their children Sadie and Tristan. Becky was preceded in death by her older brother William Bankhead and her sister Caroline Bankhead.
Visitation is set for 12:30 p.m. Sunday November 10th with the funeral to follow at 2 p.m. at Legacy Chapel Funeral Home in Madison, Alabama. In lieu of flowers, the family gratefully asks that friends instead consider a donation to the Food Bank of North Alabama at www.foodbanknorthal.org.
The family would like to thank the many friends, family members, nurses, doctors and pastors who have done so much to support and care for Becky – and for them – through the journey of the last few years. We are grateful beyond measure for your love and compassion. You have been the hands and feet of Christ to us, and we are truly blessed.