Herbert Tollefson


Tollefson   Herbert R. Tollefson, 96, of Menno, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015 at the Menno-Olivet Care Center in Menno.
Funeral services were Dec. 19, at the Salem Reformed Church in Menno, with Rev. Michael Hecht officiating. Burial was later that day in the Restlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery in Huron.  Visitation was one hour prior to the service at the church.  Military rites were by the Rames-Bender American Legion Post #152, Menno.
Herb was born to Alma (Pawloski) and Rufus Tollefson in Cuthbert, near Woonsocket, on April 12, 1919. He and his brothers and sisters attended a country school near Cuthbert.
In the early 1940s, Herb was drafted into World War II.  He was trained to be a demolitions engineer and shipped overseas soon after. He earned four major battle stars in Africa, Italy and Germany with the 5th Army. Many of his memories about the war were recorded from recent interviews by newscasters in Yankton and Vermillion.
On Dec. 28, 1942, Herb married Mary Antonia Peta in Muskogee, Okla., and they started their family together.
He came back from the war as a Master Sergeant and joined the National Guard in Woonsocket.
He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, and had been an active member of both for over 70 years in both Woonsocket and Menno.  He was most proud of the 96 flags he gave out in Woonsocket as Post 29 Legion Chaplain for many years.
In the 40’s and 50’s, he and Mary had four children:  Rosemary, David, Lywellyn and John.
In the 1950s, Herb and Mary began farming corn, alfalfa and oats and raised cattle and pigs.  They later started growing watermelons and muskmelons. Herb enjoyed working hard and loved to play the harmonica.
His wife, Mary, passed away in 2007.  In 2008, Herb married Frieda Nusz of Menno.  He moved to Menno where they enjoyed seven years of marriage.
Herbert is survived by his wife, Frieda of Menno; children,  Rosemary (Ron) VanLaecken of Watertown, Lywellyn (Cindy) Tollefson of Watertown and John (Michelle) Tollefson of Oshkosh, Wis.; eight grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren;  his sister, Melba Sorben of Huron; sister-in-law, Nell (LaVerne) of Huron and his brother-in-law, Allen (Pauline) Miiller of Mt. Vernon.
Herbert was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary; son, David Tollefson; brothers, Lyle and LaVerne; sisters, Beulah Johnson and Pauline Miiller and his parents.
Memorials may be sent to Salem Reformed Church, PO Box 304, Menno SD, 57045.
The Aisenbrey-Opsahl-Kostel Memorial Chapel assisted with the service details.  Online condolences may be sent to: Opsahl-kostelfuneralhome.com.

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