Loving Memory
Novella Yarbro Tole
December 20, 1915-July 15, 2000

Friday, July 21, 2000 - 11.00 a.m.
St. Mark A.M.E. Church
Parsons, 'Tennessee

Rev Buddy D.Esters - Officiating


Remember Me

I have only one favor to ask of you-
Remember me in all that you say and do.
Remember what I taught, and the song I liked to sing.
Remember how I could find joy and laughter in almost anything.
Remember how my smile of sunshine dried your tears of rain-
Remember how my warm hug could erase your hurt and pain.
Please remember all these things each time you remember me,
And know that I'm only as far as you ever want me to be.
It's beautiful and peaceful this place that I roam.
It's nothing like the earthly place, this is really home!
This is not good-bye, so dry those falling tears-
Just remember me as I was, and I'll see you when you get here.
Remember me as you pass by-as you are, so was I.
This Earth is only temporary-
We'll live together forever in eternity.
There's one more thing I'd like to say. . .
Life doesn't stop because you don't see my face.
As you live your life thank GOD for each day.
HE gives us more than we realize; yet we don't take time to pray.
You think, "Never again will we be together."
. . . but I know that never again will we be apart.
Never again do I have to leave you-
Now I live in your heart.


A Poem For My Mother

I miss you so much . . . your laugh, your smile, your touch.
You always brightened my days with
All the smiles you sent my way.
I need you as my angel to always be at my side.
I need you as my angel to give me peace of mind.
I like to think you near to me to know that you are there.
Even though I cannot see you, I feel that you are near.
Please do not forget me, Mom,
For you are always in my heart, my thoughts and prayers.
I love you.

- by Shari M Blom -



            Novella Yarbro Tole - "Mom Bell" was born to the union of Ralph Rupert and Lessie Scott Yarbro on December 20, 1915. She accepted Christ at an early age and joined Freeman Chapel A.M.E. Church in Decaturville, Tennessee. She served as musician and Stewardess for many years. After moving from Decaturville to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1969, she joined Gospel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. She remained active with the Church until her death.

            On June 29, 1939, Novella was united in Holy Matrimony to James L. Tole in Decaturville, Tennessee. Four children were born to this union. She loved her family and reared her children in a Christian home.

            Novella was a third generation Teacher. She was a graduate of Decatur County Training School in 1933. She attended Tennessee A&I State College where she obtained an Ele Teaching Certificate. She continued to teach while attending College to obtain a B.A. Degree in Secondary Education from Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee in 1954. Still driven to improve as a teacher, she received her M.A. Degree in Elementary Education from Fisk University in 1967. She spent 39 years in the classroom: 27 years serving Decatur County and 12 years serving the Milwaukee Public School System.

            Novella was active in the church, community and professional organizations. She was a member of Ladies Worthwhile Club, Decatur County Education Association, Tennessee Education Congress, National Education Association, Eastern Star, Den Mother for the Boy Scouts, Association of Graduates and Students of Decatur County Training School and Milwaukee Teachers Education Association (retired).

            A beautiful life has come to a close on July 15, 2000 at Milwaukee Hospice. She was preceded in death by her parents, Rupert and Lessie Yarbro; her husband, James L. Tole; her sister, Mary Ella Bailey; two brothers: Willie Bert Yarbro and Gary Smith Yarbro; one grandson, Robin Fisher.

            She leaves to cherish her loving memory - two brothers: Henry C. Yarbro "H.C." and Jerry Fredrick; one daughter, Marva Tole Breadendick (Rob); three sons: Hugh E. Tole (Shirley), David C. Tole (Hazel) and Gregory S. Tole; 12 grandchildren: Edward Fisher, Katrina Simmons, Dawn Brackens, Darren Fisher, Bryan Fisher, Tamara Jones, Donna Gold, Erica Tole, Jarrette Tole, Dwight Tole, Remona McFarland and Kelli Tole. She also leaves 11 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, other fond relatives and many, many dear friends.


Order Of Service

Musical Prelude
Processional, Ministers and Family
Scripture, Pastor Sabrina Transou
Prayer, Elder Joseph Fisher
Worship Song, "Peace In The Valley"
Acknowledgment of Condolences and Resolutions, Mrs. Youlonda Thorpe
Poem, Mrs. Margarett Beach
Obituary, Read Silently
Tributes, Expressions & Remarks, Family, Friends and Ministers
Worship Song, "How Great Thou Art"
Eulogy, Rev. Buddy D. Esters
Viewing, Hardeman County Funeral Directors


Freeman Chapel A.M.E.
Church Cemetery


A Tribute To Novella Tole
(Daughter, Sister; Student, Wife, Mother; Friend, Teacher)

I know you as Mom and the thoughts I share today are my thoughts of you and what others have shared with me. You are one of life's great road maps. Anyone wanting to live to inspire others can follow your example. To describe your life, I have to do it by category. I know no other way of explaining the fullness of your life and its meaning to all of us, therefore, the reason for all of the adjectives in this tribute's title.


My Mother The Daughter -
You are the 2nd child of Papa Rupert and Mama Lessie. I know from the talks we had and the comments of others that they were your parents, but you are a descendant of their parents and their parent's parents. You had a way of letting us, your children, know that Papa spoiled you and Mama Lessie guided you. The stories of younger years will always be treasures in my heart, and the care you gave to both your parents will always be an example for others. We, your children, could only know how to love you and Daddy. You never set any other example for us to follow.

My Mother The Sister -
I have fond memories of our outings to Parsons to see Aunt Mary and for you to get your hair fixed. This was more than a visit, it was a social event. I smile every time I think of the pictures taken with us kids in what I call "the bushes." I remember the visits with your brothers, our uncles: Bert, H.C., Smith and Fred, and the respect they showed to you. You have to be special for brothers to treat you the way they did. They listened to you as if you were their parent. They would respect your social beliefs as if you were their spiritual leader. They treated you as the special Lady you are. Your example as a Sister could only show us, your children, how to live and love each other.

My Mother The Student -
I have to keep this short because anything dealing with students and teaching, you could fill volumes. On this I say to you, I learned to respect, honor and thank those who taught me. I remember you expressing your gratitude to and for those who taught you. Your admiration for your classmates was always expressed by giving others examples of what they accomplished in life. You always had stories (long) to tell us about the success of others. This was only to show us that we could also achieve success if we put our minds to it.

My Mother The Wife -
I don't know where or how you got the instructions to be a wife. I wish I did. I would write a book and go on tour with it. The Family would not be a troubled institution if I had this to share. I know you loved my dad, James. The light in your face and songs in your words were always seen and heard when Daddy was around you or you were talking of him. Both of you grew together in life, the caring, sharing and exemplifying of what a marriage partnership should be. You also showed what a wife should be by the relationship you had with Daddy's mother, father, brothers and sisters. You were a Daughter, Sister, Teacher, Confidant and Friend to them. I know this because if I had not asked, I would have thought you were their Daughter or Sister, because Daddy's family treated you like their Daughter and Sister. You are an example of what love is and should be.

My Mother -
You are the perfect Mother for me and always had motherly advice for others. I hear the term "Like A Mother" used so much in conversation about you that I know you loved and guided others as you did with us. I always wanted to have and be part of a large family. You gave that to me with all of the people whose lives you touched. I thought 10 to 12 children would be a large family . . . you gave me thousands! I thank the Lord for giving me YOU! You are a true MOTHER!

My Mother The Friend & Teacher -
I think the reason you are a successful teacher is because you are a very good friend first. I can't describe the relationship you had with people you taught in school and the people you taught out of school. We got counseling, direction, guidance and tons of advice. You never met a person you could not talk to. The ease with which you made friends is absolutely amazing. I hope and pray that your gift of befriending people is hereditary. It is truly something that needs to be passed for generations to come. God has clay that He uses to mold us in His image. When He got to you, He grabbed the one called Teacher. He used a special mixture: Loving, Caring, Devotion, Patience, Strength, Knowledge, Wisdom, Energy and Imagination, just to name a few. He mixed it with tender care, shaped it with loving hands and cured it so it would last through 39 years of schoolroom activities. Then He named it "Novella" and gave you to us. Mom, you would laugh at this but I am going to say it anyway: "I wish I had paid more attention in those English classes, then I could express to you how special you are." We all miss you but we know that we have a little bit of you in each of us. It can never replace you but it can keep you with us. God has you now, but we will join you later. I know you will have special advice because you were never lost for words



Elwin L. Townsend
Jerry L. Craig
Ronnie L. Tole
J.B. Fisher Jr.
Dale Scott
George Laster



Perhaps you sent a lovely card,
Or sat quietly in a chair.
Perhaps you sent a floral piece.
If so, we saw it there.
Perhaps you spoke the kindest words
That any friend could say.
Perhaps you were not there at all;
Just thought of us that day.
Whatever you did to console our hearts,
We thank you so much,
Whatever the part.


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