William"Bill" Ray Tolbert

December 6, 1942 ~ January 10, 2021 (age 78)

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Mr. William “Bill” Ray Tolbert, age 78 of Millers Creek passed away Sunday, January 10, 2021 at his home.

 Due to COVID -19, a private graveside service will be held  with Rev. Kenneth Bumgarner and Rev. Jim McKinney at Millers Creek United Methodist Church Cemetery with Military Honors by Veterans of Foreign War Post 1142 Honor Guard and the United States Navy Honor Guard.  There will be a public viewing from 12:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 and from 8:00 AM until 12:00 PM Thursday, January 14, 2021 at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home. The private service will be live-streamed on Reins-Sturdivant Facebook page. A celebration of life service will be held at a later date. 

Bill was born, December 6, 1942 in Wilkes County to Nat K. and Belva Dean Eller Tolbert.  He was a graduate of West Wilkes High School. He was president of NC Watchmakers. He was a jeweler and was owner/operator of Tolbert’s Jewelry in Millers Creek. Bill worked for Cas-Ker, a watch and jewelry supplier.  He was a volunteer fireman at Millers Creek Fire Department. He served as youth group leader and Sunday school teacher at Millers Creek United Methodist Church. He also served as president of the United Methodist Men’s Club, and was a church choir member. He was a veteran of the United States Navy during Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica. He was a volunteer at West Wilkes High School Electric Vehicle and Appalachian State University Solar Vehicle Team. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife,  Archie Alan Bumgarner  Chamberlain Tolbert; a son, Roger Chamberlain; two brothers, Jim Tolbert and Max Tolbert. 

Bill is survived by two daughters, Wanda Denise Chamberlain Taylor and husband Steve of China Grove and Sandy Chamberlain McCall and husband Darren of  North Wilkesboro; a son, Christopher Lee Tolbert and wife Amy of Purlear; thirteen grandchildren, Charlie Tolbert, Nevin Chamberlain-Gentry, Zachary, Travis, Jesse, Marianna, and Eric Hughes, Tyler, Kristin, Adam, Conner McCall, Elizabeth Webster, and Ryan Shumate; eight great grandchildren Alyssa, Jayda, Bailey, Carmen, Darion, Jaylon, Grace-Hughes, Emma, Carter, and Levi-McCall; a brother, Gary Tolbert and wife Debbie of Gastonia, NC;  nieces and nephews, Sheila Tolbert Haywood and husband, Rick, Susan and Sara Tolbert Blanchard and Susan Tolbert Elkins; In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Samaritan’s Kitchen PO Box 1072 Wilkesboro, NC  28659, Hope Ministries 514 Elkin Hwy North Wilkesboro, NC  28659, or Dunkirk United Methodist Church c/o Kenny Bumgarner 162 East Greencrest Dr. Millers Creek, NC  28651, and Millers Creek Fire Department 5200 Boone Trail Millers Creek, NC 28651. 

Online condolences may be made at

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Private Graveside Service
January 14, 2021

3:00 PM
Reins Sturdivant
270 Armory Road, P.O. Box 1428
Wilkesboro, NC 28659

Video is available for this event


Samaritan's Kitchen of Wilkes
PO Box 1072, Wilkesboro NC 28697

Wilkes Ministries of HOPE
514 Elkin Hwy., North Wilkesboro NC 28659

Millers Creek Fire Department
5200 Boone Trail, Millers Creek NC 28651

Dunkirk United Methodist Church C/o Kenny Bumgarner
162 East Greencrest Dr, Millers Creek NC 28651

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