Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Robert Tolefree was born on August 31, 1929 to the parents of the late Elder Climmie Tolefree and Octavia Maomi Sanders Tolefree in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He was a third of 8 children. He was preceded in death by his five brothers Arnett, Joseph, Evell, Arthur, & Jesse Tolefree and one sister Dorothy Babbitt.
In 1940 the family moved from Arkansas to Oakland California and later to Russell city, California. While Robert did not complete high school he became a successful owner of a trucking company for nearly 60 years where he owned and operated five 18 wheelers. All of his sons learned to drive 18 wheelers at 16 years old and took an interest in the trucking industry as well.
He met and married Dorothy Dewey in 1952 and through this union five children (Judy, Brian, Kerry, Adriane & Robert) were born and she proceeded him in death in 2003.
Robert, often referred to as “Mr. T” was a staple in the Bay Area community being an owner of a black owned business, a mentor to so many young men and loved by everyone. He was a great father and husband and just someone everyone loved and looked up to.
Robert loved being a “Trucker”. He drove across the country but mostly between northern and southern California. He loved his family so 5 children kept him pretty busy outside of work. He loved jazz and learned to play to piano. You would know that whenever he got near a piano.
He leaves to cherish his memory his three surviving children, Brian Tolefree, Kerry Tolefree, and Adriane Tolefree, 1 sister, Deborah Harris, 4 grandchildren, Steven Andre Irving, Jimmie Oliver Jr., Janae Oliver, & Robert Romiel Tolefree, 7 great grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins as well as a special friend Miss Charlotte.
The family of Robert Tolefree would like to thank each and every one of you, a tremendous community of love, for the kindness you have shown us during our time of our bereavement. You will never know how much it means to us. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers that God will continue give us the peace, comfort, and strength to carry on.
~The Tolefree Family~