The Life and Legacy of a Matriach
Ella M. Washington was born July 17, 1943 to Eugene and Maebelle Mack in Pin Point, a rural
community of Savannah, Georgia. Ella attended Chatham County Public Schools. She married Hurley
Tolbert Sr. and gave birth to five children; Hurley Tolbert Jr., Carolyn Jeffery, Diane Campbell, Ella
Harrison (deceased) and Elizabeth Cope (deceased). She also had a daughter she did not give birth to
but loved just as much as her own, Doris Logan.
Ella ‘s greatest joy in life was teaching her grandchildren about the Lord. Her eighteen grandchildren,
who hold her in very high regards are, Hurley Tolbert III (Donyetta), Kevin Tolbert, Kiwanda Tolbert,
Richard Baker, Jr., Victoria Baker, Julia White (deceased), Keidra Chancellor, Dionne Campbell, Janice
Anderson (Maurice), Kimberly Roberson, Harold Roberson Jr., Rufus Olgesby, Mercy Oglesby, Byron
Tolbert, Shameka Tolbert, Donald Cope Jr., Donna Charlton and LaTrisha . She is the great-grandmother
Ella worked as an X-Ray Technician at Memorial Hospital in the late 1960’s. She then obtained clerical
training at Savannah State College where she worked as an administrative assistant for several years.
When the opportunity presented itself, Ella took a valiant step in the mid 70’s when she was trained
through the Georgia Police Academy to become a Corrections Officer at the Chatham County Jail where
she was a dedicated employee for twelve years. During her years at the Chatham County Jail, Ella was a
member of the American Association of Correctional Officers, trained and certified in the use of firearms
as well as awarded a certificate from the Georgia Crime Information Center in Fingerprint Instructions.
After her stint with the Chatham County Jail Ella received training and was certified in Management
Training which led to her working as a housing manager at Chatham Apartments.
Ella enjoyed cooking and baking for her tribe, but her greatest past-time was fishing. You could find her
on the pier at Lazaretto Creek where she caught whiting, bass, flounder and croaker. She was a pro at
catching, cleaning, and frying up a pan of fish fresh from the creek. Ella would spend hours on the pier in
hopes of getting a bite. The locals knew her well and she was featured in the Island Closeup, a local
paper in Thunderbolt, Georgia.
Ella is also know for her knowledge of the Word of God. She is a graduate of Pentecostal Miracle
Deliverance Center‘s (PMDC) Bible College and also received a certificate of completion from New
Generation Institute of Biblical Studies and Theological Seminary, Inc. As a resident of Williams Court
Apartments, where she also served as the president of the residence’s association, Ella was known for
her knowledge of the Bible and her willingness to share the gospel to the not only the residents, she
shared with the staff, visitors, those she met in the grocery store, gas station, street corner, anyone
living and breathing, she shared the hope that is in knowing Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior.
A brief Viewing and Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 4, 2020 from 9:00 to 10:00 AM at Families First Funeral Care.
Graveside Services will be held following the Visitation at 11:00 AM in Montgomery Baptist Church Cemetery, 9890 Whitefield Avenue, Savannah.