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Robin James Tolleson

August 18, 1956 - June 21, 2019

Robin James Tolleson, 62, of Hendersonville, died suddenly on Friday, June 21, 2019 after suffering a heart attack while playing the drums with his band, the Secret B-Sides, in Asheville.

 

He is preceded in death by his parents; Walter and Molly Tolleson; as well as a brother, Peter Tolleson who died in 200…read more

Robin James Tolleson, 62, of Hendersonville, died suddenly on Friday, June 21, 2019 after suffering a heart attack while playing the drums with his band, the Secret B-Sides, in Asheville.

 

He is preceded in death by his parents; Walter and Molly Tolleson; as well as a brother, Peter Tolleson who died in 2008.

 

Robin was born in San Francisco on August 18, 1956, son of Molly Sudduth Tolleson and Bay Area big band leader Walt Tolleson. He learned to play the drums at an early age. Robin moved with his siblings and mother to her native Hendersonville, graduating from Hendersonville High School in 1974. He attended Appalachian State University, where he met his future wife, Jocelyn Clayton, then returned to San Francisco to pursue his music and journalism career. Jocelyn followed after graduating. The couple married in 1982 and lived in San Francisco, where “Millie” was born in 1986. They moved to San Rafael, California, where James was born in 1991. Robin was a devoted stay-at-home dad by day and musician/journalist by night.

 

The family moved back to Hendersonville in 1999, where Robin became a pillar of the Western North Carolina music community and Trinity Presbyterian Church while continuing to write for national and local publications. For the last three years, Robin also served as director of the Hendersonville Community Music Center.

 

Robin was a loving son, husband, father, brother, teacher, and mentor to younger musicians. He touched countless lives, and many on both coasts feel his loss. Testaments to his talent, generosity, kindness, and gentle strength have abounded in recent days. His legacy is one of family, community, and music.

 

Robin’s passing is a devastating loss to his wife of 37 years, Jocelyn Tolleson; daughter, Millie Tolleson, and her husband, Jacob Herson, of San Francisco; son, James Tolleson, and his partner, Sabrina Poms, of New York City;  two sisters, Susan Tolleson Bufano, and her husband, Jim Bufano, of Greenville and Juli Tolleson, and her husband, Matt Nycz, of New York City; brother, Wally Tolleson of San Francisco; and a great many other family members, friends, and community members in both Western North Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

A service for Robin will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville with Reverend Mark Stanley and Reverend Dwight Christenbury officiating.

 

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Hendersonville Community Music Center (www.hvlmusic.com, click “Get Involved”) or North Carolina Peace Action (www.ncpeaceaction.org). The family thanks everyone for the love and support they have received.

 

 

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Service Information

Service Information

Date: Saturday, June 29, 2019

Time: 1:00 pm

Trinity Presbyterian Church

900 Blythe Street
Hendersonville, NO 28791

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