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Fayette BoE member Sam Tolbert succumbs to cancer

Fayette County Board of Education member Sam Tolbert passed away in the afternoon hours of Sept. 22. The first-term Post 5 board member had struggled recently with esophageal cancer.

Tolbert, 64, was elected to the Fayette County Board of Education in November 2010. He was a semi-retired senior manager who had served as an adjunct professor of mathematics at Gordon College in Barnesville.

School board Chairman Bob Todd Thursday afternoon said Tolbert had been in hospice care for the past 2-3 weeks and had passed away during the mid-afternoon hours while at a hospice facility in Snellville.

It was more than a year ago that the late-stage cancer was discovered. That discovery came when a nurse spotted it on his liver during an echo-cardiogram.

The case more recently progressed to Stage 4 where the metastatic cancer has spread to distant sites in the body, Todd said.

Todd in his comments reflected on the contribution made by Tolbert to the Fayette County community.

“I only knew Sam for a short time, but he was someone you instantly liked. He was a good guy,” Todd said. “And he was a very good board member. As a friend and colleague I will miss him. And my sympathies and that of the school board and school system go out to his family.”

Tolbert prior to his election pledged to focus on the Fayette school system’s budget. Tolbert kept his word, and during his time on the board he maintained the posture as a fiscal conservative while holding to the high standards for which Fayette County schools are known.

Funeral arrangements are not yet known but will be posted on this website once they are made available.

Information pertaining to the need to fill Tolbert’s unexpired term will be forthcoming.

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