Lloyd Edward Tolley, 85, of Buchanan, passed peacefully into eternal rest at his home in Buchanan on Saturday, July 23, 2022.
Born in Natural Bridge, he was the fourth child of nine of Charles Lloyd Tolley and Elizabeth Brownlee Barger Tolley. A man dedicated to family, God, and country, Ed was our mother’s husband of 47 years, father, friend, son, grandson, brother, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Professionally, he was a leader with vast experience – USAF officer, parishioner, deacon, elder, professional engineer, project manager, chief engineer, executive vice president, and a city council member. Growing up in a large, loving family with both loving parents, he honed his foundation with his brothers and sisters through hard work, loyalty, honesty and love. He lived a passion for baseball (he loved the Yankees) and played through his college years. A member of the VMI Class of ’60, he graduated from VMI in 1961 and began his service with the US Air Force. While serving in the USAF at Travis Air Force Base, California, he met the love of his life, Nancy Heiser. Marriage followed on March 2, 1963.
They began the journey to raise four boys into manhood: Bruce Edward, Charles Andrew, George Alan and Thomas Preston Tolley. Having four biological children at home, he also influenced many more than his own. His influence and legacy among many continues far beyond his immediate family. Many have known him from the local stone projects in the area or the handicap ramp brickwork at Buchanan Presbyterian Church, but his profession was engineering.
He said, “I knew I wanted to build stuff,” and build he did. His accomplishments included: roads and bridges in Virginia, nuclear power plants in Virginia, Texas, South Carolina, petroleum refinery reconstruction in Canada and Kuwait, a geothermal power plant in Indonesia (atop a dormant volcano), environmental reclamation projects in California and the North Sea. Always fascinated with the brilliance of creation and how this planet works, learning was critical. Professionally, he traveled the country and around the world. He explored many different places, experienced different climates, cultures, and societies. But make no mistake, Virginia was his home. He was quick to tell everyone “I traveled around the world and never found a more beautiful place than Virginia.”
His social ease invited conversation and debate, making him fun to be around. He enjoyed any event as the people present are what made the event great. He encouraged us all to engage in our communities and follow these rules: “Do, what you say, when you say, for what you say,” and “Be the man you are supposed to be.” It will make a difference.
Ed was predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Nancy Heiser Tolley: sisters, Jeanne Tolley Bourne, Susan Tolley; and brothers, Charles P. (Bill) Tolley, Carl A. Tolley, and W. Brownlee Tolley.
He is survived by four sons: Bruce Tolley of Roanoke; Alan Tolley and his wife Eleanor of Belmont, N.C.; Andy and his wife Dinna of Lockhart, Texas; Tom Tolley and his wife Sherry of Buchanan; his surviving immediate family contains 9 grandchildren and 11 great- grandchildren; brother, Steven Tolley and wife Kim of Alabama; sisters, Nancy Hostetter of Lexington, Doris and her husband Bill Trussell of Fairfax; numerous nieces, nephews, special relatives and friends as well. Though we will miss his easy style, big laugh, and quick wit, we are so glad to have had his life me to mentor, guide, and love us all.
The family had a viewing at the Botetourt Funeral home, Buchanan, on Friday, July 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. There was a graveside service at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 30, at the High Bridge Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Natural Bridge, followed immediately by a memorial service in the main sanctuary. Once the service ended, everyone was invited to the family homestead on Lloyd Tolley Road in Natural Bridge Station for or casual socializing continuing his celebration of life from 4-7 p.m. Online condolences may be made at www.botetourtfuneralhome.com.