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Leave your memorial thoughts for Lt. Cmdr. Otis Vincent Tolbert

In Memory of Lt. Cmdr. Otis Vincent Tolbert

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In Tribute to Lt. Cmdr. Otis Vincent Tolbert
38 years old.   Residence: Lemoore, Calif.
Died in Pentagon

NOTE:  The visitor remarks and comments below are NOT NECESSARILY the feelings or beliefs of this website's webmaster or sponsors.

41 Total Comments
Page:  2 of 3

Although I never personally knew Vince, I feel as if I have, as today (26 Aug 2009) we conducted the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Lt. Cmdr. Otis Vincent Tolbert Joint Intelligence Operations Center at MacDill AFB. I have had the privilege to work closely on this project and feel honored to enter this building each day looking up and seeing his name. As Maj Gen Custer said on the groundbreaking day several years ago, this building is known to all who enter as "The Vince." I thank you for your service and for your sacrifice to our nation. God bless America!

*** Posted by CENTCOM Family Member on 2009-08-26 ***

Vince and I crossed paths at USCENTCOM, where we served together in the Intelligence Directorate. We nicknamed him "the Jolly Green Giant" because he was always happy, even in the most intense crises. He was an admirable sailor and a pleasure to work with. I learned of his demise when I arrived at the Pentagon in August 2002—another CENTCOM alumnus we served with informed me. The world lost a truly great man, and I was sorely saddened when I heard the news. God bless the Tolberts for bringing this man into the world, and let us never forget the sacrifice he and many other military members have made in the service of our country!

*** Posted by Michael C. Long (USAF-retired) on 2009-05-18 ***


I'll never forget the kindness and friendship that you extended to me nor the great times that we shared together back in college at Fresno State.

You are sorely missed but very well remembered.

Rest in Peace, dear friend.

Your buddy,


*** Posted by Timothy Scott Palko on 2008-09-11 ***

I miss Vince terribly every year at this time. Mostly because every time I think of Vince, I think of all the great times we had together, at work, with his family, on the golf course. I met him at CENTCOM and we lived near each other in Valrico. I was fortunate enough to get to know his family, especially when they would meet us on the 9th tee box at Bloomingdale Golfer's club with breakfast sandwiches! He was a good man, taken much too soon. God bless your lovely family. I still pray for them.
Missing you...

*** Posted by Rick Lamarre on 2008-09-11 ***

It has been said and I have read that Otis was a friend to all. I, too, can attest to the character of Otis, having attended High School with him. Otis was unique in that he was friends with everyone! You could have been the new guy at school, and if he saw you in town a week later, he would talk to you as if you had been friends all year. But then again, that was a different time back in Lemoore: Close families, strong values, and community pride. At school, each class was like a family. We lived a simple life with few distractions. There were no “issues” that were common in big cities and such, just school clubs, sports, and all-access parties out in the country. We were fortunate to have grown up with Otis and the others in Lemoore during the 60’s and 70’s. God bless Otis and his family.... And the memories life on forever….

Mark Barrie (LUHS Class of '79)

*** Posted by Mark Barrie on 2008-05-26 ***

Thank you for your service to you Country. Thank you for your love of the seas. Thank you for your courage, your honor, and your patriotism. Serving in the Armed Forces of the United States has always been a noble calling. It was a calling that you exemplified.

*** Posted by Eric Silverman on 2008-04-19 ***

Vince, I still remember the shock as if it was yesterday of seeing your name as a fallen hero on September 11th. We had lost touch, but it was comforting to know you were in this world somewhere, making it better somehow. Thank you for being such a good friend at my first duty station, far away from home. I could always count on you to protect me like a big brother. I was very fortunate to have met you and to have called you a friend. Now you stand guard at the gates of heaven. My prayers will always include Shari and your kids. They can count on me for anything. We miss you.


*** Posted by Tania (Viera) Garza on 2007-09-11 ***

I remember Otis sticking up for me as a 4th grade classmate and being a friend at the grade school on Lemoore NAS. Years later, as we graduated from Fresno State, we worked together at a movie theater in Fresno in '84. We'd talk about flying, as I was about to go off to AF flight school, and Otis loved to talk flying. I was requalifying as a flight instructor after a headquarters staff tour when 9/11 struck, and Otis was taken.... That gave new meaning to my requaling and my final tour before I retired from active duty. I'll always remember him well.

*** Posted by Gene Marquez on 2007-09-11 ***

They were at the right place
at oh, so the wrong time
Yes they continued their walk
up into the sky
Brave men and women
doing what they needed to do
To save others from the unkown
the terrorrists, the evil crew
WE will cherish you always
Not just on 9/11 but every day
In our thoughts and prayers
WE will remember your kind ways
Your smiles, your laughs, your frowns
Because there were days when our world
Was flipping, churning, upside down
But you could always turn it around
And make me feel up
when I was feeling down
For that I ever thank you,
and thank you ever more
I will wait for you, my love,
on the other side of heaven's door.

*** Posted by The Debster on 2006-09-17 ***

Otis was one of the most kind-hearted individuals I had the pleasure of including in the "circle of friends". Being a Navy Brat, my dad got transferred to Lemoore Naval Air Station the summer before my Senior year.

I would once again have to make new friends and "start all over", leaving behind all of the friends I had grown up with in elementary, junior high and through my Junior year of high school.

On my first day of school at Lemoore Union High School, I remember seeing this "larger than life" guy across the quad area. He was laughing loudly, hugging his friends, shaking hands and simply enjoying life. I thought to myself, "he must not be a military kid, he seems to know everyone and everyone knows him!".

As it turned out, I had him in 2 of my classes and he made me feel very welcomed. He introduced me to his friends and invited me to gatherings both at school and after school.

He became instrumental in allowing me to transition into a new school, new town and new experiences with ease.

Otis was everyone's friend, a stranger to no one. He was always there to lend a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on and a smile to cheer you after a tough test, tough track performance, tough day ... no matter the situation, he was always there.

I don't know his wife and family, but I remember feeling a horrible emptiness the day that his family picture was broadcast on the local news channel. My heart ached for him, as I knew the pain of having your world shattered by the news: "He's gone, I'm so sorry". Those are the most difficult words to ever hear about your spouse. How do you explain that to your children? How can I ever go on when I know that it will never again be comfortable?

Otis and his family have remained in my prayers since that very moment upon learning of his death. I will continue to pray for the pain in their hearts to ease, for each day to become better.

I hope that these messages bring you comfort.

I WILL NEVER FORGET: the gentle man that he was, the smile that came so easily to him, the gentle spirit of his heart, the compassion towards those that he loved, his contagious excitement.

I will never forget the sacrifice he made that awful day. I will never forget what he has meant to all those that have loved the gentle man that he was.

God bless!


*** Posted by Kim Bloch-Lane (Class of 1980 Lemoore High School) on 2006-09-15 ***

I met OT (as everyone called him) while going through AOCS in Pensacola, FL. You could not have met a finer person, and no one more deserving of becoming an Officer than he. He was always right there to help-even making exchange runs to ensure we had what we needed for inspections. He fought for what he believed in, and died doing what he loved. The Navy lost one of its finest on 9/11, but more importantly, the world lost a great person.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

*** Posted by K. Murphy on 2006-09-11 ***

God bless Otis Vincent Tolbert and God bless his family.

*** Posted by Irene Hansen-Parks on 2006-09-11 ***

Vince - on this day, I am remembering you in my thoughts and prayers. My memories are of the times we all shared in Guam (ashore and on deployment) and San Diego, and of your tremendous dedication to the Navy and to your family. 

Shari - Vince lives everyday in the minds and hearts of those who knew him.

*** Posted by Verne Marble on 2006-09-11 ***

You are remembered.

*** Posted by Julia on 2006-08-18 ***

I loved my dad very much, he always made me feel special and important, and it seems to me that he made other people feel special as well.

*** Posted by Amanda Tolbert on 2006-05-08 ***

Vince was a great friend, impressive naval officer and wonderful family man.  I greatly respected him.  He is missed.

*** Posted by Stephanie on 2006-04-14 ***

Had the pleasure of working closely with Vince at USCENTCOM...  They just didn't come any better than him...

*** Posted by Bill Tuton on 2006-01-23 ***

Lieutenant Vince Tolbert was our Division Officer (OZ Division) aboard the USS Constellation CV-64 for our Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, & Arabian Gulf deployment from 1994 to 1995. He was a good man & a good officer. I was sad to see his name listed among those who were murdered on 11 September 2001. I should add that he preferred "Vince" or "Vincent" vice "Otis". He’d want you to know that, I think. We called him "LT". He was our Intelligence Officer. He had a wife & two daughters at the time.

On a warm, fine day we sailed through the Straight of Hormuz (between Iran & Oman), & the Iranians sent a P-3F aircraft to reconnoiter the Constellation. I was on a three-man Bridge (Snoopy) Team, stationed on the O-10 deck (above the ship’s bridge) acting as a lookout, & taking photography of the ships & boats that we sighted.

Prior to 1979, the US had sold several Lockheed P-3F Orion aircraft to the Iranians. By 1994 there was much discussion as to how many of these aircraft were still airworthy. We knew of four, for certain. When the word was passed that an Iranian P-3F was approaching, we knew to keep a sharp eye out.

LT Tolbert came running up to the O-10 Level. He knew we would do our job, & didn’t interfere: he was just very excited, & wanted to see the Iranian P-3F for himself. We all liked LT Tolbert, & smiled at his enthusiasm.

The Iranian P-3F flew by us, twice, very close. We took excellent photography of them. Based on the aircraft’s side number, we proved that the Iranians had a fifth airworthy P-3F, as this particular aircraft was not known to be flyable. LT Tolbert was ecstatic, & very proud of us.

*** Posted by Glen Berger on 2006-01-17 ***

I never had the pleasure to know this fallen hero, but I wanted to visit the site, pay any sort of respect and give my most deepest sympathies to all who actually had the pleasure of knowing such a dedicated man who obviously loved his country.  Sleep well and be well.


*** Posted by Jennifer on 2006-01-08 ***

Vince, has never met me, but I will become a of his family this year.  I will be marrying his aunt's son.  My prayers are with his family.  I know you are in heaven watching over us.

*** Posted by P gibson on 2004-07-22 ***

41 Total Comments

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