Imogene Whitfield Tolar, 87, of Statesville, N.C., and formerly of LaBelle, Fla., passed away Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at the Gordon Hospice House. Born June 19, 1936, in Leon County, Fla., she was the daughter of the late Walter Lawrence Whitfield and Mattie Locke Whitfield.

As a child, Imogene attended Leon County Schools in Florida. On August 2, 1952, she married Robert Marion Tolar, who passed April 28, 2023). After marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Tolar began their family home one mile from the Historic Dupree School in Ashford, Ala. In 1962, the Tolars moved to LaBelle, Fla., to farm watermelons where Imogene and her husband operated Tolar Farms. Imogene was the business bookkeeper.

A devoted housewife, loving mother, and grandmother, she spent her days tending to her three children, working in the garden, canning, and freezing fresh vegetables. She was an exceptional southern cook and was best known for her Brunswick stew, fried chicken, hoecake cornbread, and her family’s favorite, her famous sweet tea!

After retiring, in 2014, the Tolars moved to Statesville, where Imogene loved spending her days on the front porch of their “watermelon cottage.” A weekly highlight for hers was enjoying her favorite meal of salt and pepper catfish at their weekly date night Statesville spot, King of the Sea.

In addition to her husband, Imogene was preceded in death by three sisters, Helen Danley, Hazel Whitfield, and Simone Whitfield; and three brothers, Jack Whitfield, Norman Whitfield and Rex Whitfield.

She is survived by her daughter, Betty Sue Tolar Doty (Drake) of Statesville, N.C.; two sons, Eugene Tolar (Jane) of Clayton, Ga., and Tony Tolar (Debbie) of LaBelle, Fla.; two brothers, Ralph Whitfield of Bristol, Fla., and Eddie Wayne Whitfield of Ashford, Ala.; five grandchildren, Eric Tolar (Beth Ann), Ashley Nance (Jerrod), Tonie Marie Garcia (Chris), Corie Sawatzky (Jacob), and Casey Fry (Elena); and nine great grandchildren, Lyla, Brock, Sadie Grace, Easton, Lawson, Raylan, Zaiden, Blaze, and Cody.

A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Troutman Funeral Home (345 N Main Street, Troutman, NC 28166) to be followed by a Celebration of Life at the Statesville Elks Lodge (1251 Radio Road, Statesville, NC 28625).

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Imogene’s memory to Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625 or the Friends of Dupree School, P.O. Box 408, Ashford, AL 36312.

Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.