Tulamae “Toots” Self Coble, age 88, of Calhoun, passed away Monday afternoon July 10th at her residence.
Toots was born March 24, 1935, in Long Island, Alabama, daughter of the late Joseph Clinton Self and Maggie Mae Crowson Self. She was a member of the Calhoun Seventh-day Adventist Church and was preceded in death by her husband, John L. Coble, Jr., her siblings and in-laws, and several nieces and nephews.
She is survived by her children, Hal (Jennifer) Coble, Randy (Lynn) Coble, and Connie (Darrel) Starkey. Grandchildren, Ashley (Bryan) Coble Birmele, Megan Lynn Coble, Zachary Steven Coble, and Molly Alys Coble; great-grandchildren, Anakin Kaleb Birmele, Ysabella Kalyna Birmele, Zara Kensington Birmele, and a host of nieces and nephews.
She was the youngest of seven children – a surprise addition to the family. Growing up as a farmer’s daughter on Sand Mountain, Georgia, she would often accompany her dad to sell vegetables and gladiolas off the back of their pickup truck along the side of the road or at the Chattanooga farmer’s market. She loved that time with him.
She met John Coble at a “chance” encounter in Greensboro, North Carolina, and it was love at first sight. They married on November 23, 1955, on Sand Mountain and moved to Jacksonville, Florida, for a short time, then to Collegedale, Tennessee, where John began working toward his college degree in education. Soon after, there was a move to Stearns, Kentucky, for a teaching position, and the arrival of their firstborn, Hal. Additional teaching assignments included Madison, Tennessee, where their second son, Randy, was born, then to Oneida, Kentucky, where Toots served as a jeep nurse in the hills and “hollers,” a role that was physically and mentally rigorous yet incredibly fulfilling to her in meeting the needs of the community. While they were living temporarily on Sand Mountain during John’s continued schooling, Connie joined the family, and they soon relocated to Roan Mountain, Tennessee, and Fletcher, North Carolina, for additional school roles.
In 1965, John and Toots were thrilled to finally settle into their “meant-to-be” home in Calhoun, Georgia, where he became principal of the elementary school, and Toots provided continual support as substitute teacher, yearly eighth-grade graduation planner, and Pathfinder director, to name a few. They loved being part of the Calhoun community, and over the years, Toots served in various ways as a school nurse at Georgia-Cumberland Academy, third-shift nurse at the nursing home and local hospital, private duty nurse, Georgia-Cumberland Conference receptionist, secretary to the president, event planner, farm tractor driver extraordinaire, hostess to untold numbers of her children’s buddies, and a true friend to all.
Family was front and center in her life. Her parents, siblings, in-laws, nieces, and nephews, all knew that at a drop of a hat, she would be there when needed. Family reunions were a priority, and anytime the Self sisters were together, the food tables were loaded to overflowing. When family would come to Calhoun for a visit, she would be putting out a spread the moment their foot hit the doorstep. She had a great love for people, Southern cooking, and finding great deals (especially shoes, lots of shoes)!
Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were the center of her world. She literally lived for them and continually sacrificed her own needs to meet theirs. When John passed away in 1995, she was determined to live independently, and did so until her death 28 years later. She leaves a legacy of sacrificial love and commitment to family and friends, and we look forward to when her vitality and joy will be overflowing again on that Great Reunion Day!
Family visitation will be at the Calhoun Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sunday, July 30, from 9:30 a.m.– 10:55 a.m., with the Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the John L. Coble Elementary School Worthy Student Fund, 450 Academy Drive SW, Calhoun, Georgia 30701 or online at www.cobleschool.com (click on the donations link).
The service will be live-streamed, and the link is https://
Thomas Funeral Home has proudly been entrusted with the care of Tulamae “Toots” Self Coble