Charles R. Toliver Sr.

Died: Mon., Feb. 5, 2018


No services to be held


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Charles Ray Toliver Sr. was born on October 14, 1941, the third son of Burrell and Alice Toliver in Chicago, Illinois. His parents and his male siblings, Burrell III, Alexander and Dennis preceded him in death. His sister Elizabeth Bissic, (William “Uncle Bill” ) lives in Ontario, California. Charles, first served the lord at the New Macedonia Baptist Church on Chicago's West side. He was not a joiner, definitely not a gang banger; however, he never backed down from confrontation. This was particularly evident in playground skins vs. shirts games where he would not be deterred by even the biggest bully. Charles encouraged his sister too, "Stand-up for yourself, people will respect you more if you do." Music was Charles' love, which began early in life. At six years old, after many months of music instructions, Charles' teacher pointed to a note on the music sheet and told him too "begin here". Squinting, Charles asked, "what's that little black thing?" He had been playing "by ear" for months and no clue about written notation. Charles continued to develope this skill and learned to read music. He played the trumpet in the Howland Elementary School Band (1952), Charles took several courses at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. Charles began to "gig" throughout the city of Chicago with others, some of whom became world renowned musicians. It was not unusual to be awakened to the loud stylings of Miles, Dizzy, and Monk playing on the Hi Fi or of Charles, himself, riffling and improvising on the piano or trumpet. His combos frequently used the family home to practice. Also playing with greats like Wynton Marsalis This passion for making music culminated in Charles opening "Dukey's School of Music" on Chicago's West side in the 70's. Here he taught several instruments. Charles inspired students, friends, and family members to follow his musical footsteps in his own community. Charles was also a Chess master, as a young boy, Charles enjoyed designing track configurations for his Lionel Train set. This eventually gave way to his love for the game of Chess. He and his brothers, Burrell III (Jimmy), Alexander (Zanny) would keep a tally sheet tacked to the wall of their wins and losses. Charles would invariably have the most tallies in the win column. He loved to strategize. He loved to win. At Harrison High School in 1960, Charles met Phyllis Johnson, they married in May 1962 & Charles Ray Toliver, became Senior in October 9th, 1962 with the birth of his son Charles Ray Toliver, Jr. and in 1966 his daughter was born, April Lynn Toliver. He is survived by his sister, Elizabeth Bissic (William); son, Charles Toliver Jr.; daughter, April Toliver Wilkins (John), and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; cousins, nieces, and nephews. He passed away on Monday, February 5, 2018 at the early age pf 77 at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois. YES, OUR DAD PASSED AND WE FOUGHT FOR HIM AND TRIED TO PROTECT HIM...CHARLES RAY TOLIVER SR. A GREAT MUSICIAN, JAZZ AFICIONADO, MILES DAVIS WAS HIS ROLE-MODEL...WE WILL TRULY MISS HIM, I REFUSED TO GIVE-IN NOR GIVE-UP UNTIL I HAD TO ACCEPT THAT I JUST DIDN'T HAVE POWER TO SAVE HIM...YAHWEH WE THANK YOU FOR OUR MOMENTS-IN-TIMES WE HAD WITH OUR DAD & HE DID GOOD, IN HIS END BY BRINGING CHARLES AND APRIL BACK CLOSE TOGETHER & THAT'S IMMEASURABLE, ALSO LEARNED NOT TO HOLD GRUDGES & BE MORE FORGIVING OF PEOPLES OR YOU COULD WIND UP ALL ALONE AND TRUST AND BELIEVE, WHAT A LONELY END OF YOUR ROAD...ALONE!!! YAHWEH BLESS OUR DAD MEMORY FOREVER!!!

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