LaVerne Tollefson


LaVerne_Tollefson_obituary_photo_Custom    LaVerne G. Tollefson, 94, of Huron, died Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at his residence.
His funeral service was Friday, Nov. 13 at the First United Methodist Church in Huron. Burial was in Restlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery with military honors by the Huron Veterans Council. Visitation with his family present was Friday, Nov. 13 from noon until 2 p.m. at the church.
LaVerne G. Tollefson was born Jan. 25, 1921, near Cuthbert to Rufus and Alma (Pawlowski) Tollefson. He graduated from Woonsocket High School in 1940, where he participated in sports, including baseball and track.
Shortly after high school graduation, LaVerne left for military service and was assigned to the U.S. Army 84th Infantry 309 Combat Engineers. His combat duty put him in three major battles in Northern France, Germany-Rhineland and the Battle of the Bulge. He was a blackout driver and rifleman for his assigned missions and combat duty. Tolly, as he was called, was seriously wounded in March 1945, and was honorably medically discharged in 1946. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the European and Middle Eastern Campaign Medals, three bronze battle stars, the American Campaign medal, the World War II Victory medal and the honorable service medal.
Following his discharge, LaVerne worked as a sales representative for the REA and from 1947 to 1954, he worked for General Auto Electric as a certified automotive electrician and salesperson.
On Oct. 15, 1948, he married Nell Schanck, who was teaching in the Huron Public Schools.
LaVerne graduated from Huron College in 1954 with a BA degree and from Northern State in 1958 with a Masters Degree in administration and guidance. He taught school and coached at Bonilla and was a coach and administrator at Yale School for five years. He was director of the guidance program at Redfield and also taught psychology for four summer sessions at Huron College. For 26 years he taught psychology and was the guidance counselor at Huron High School, while also serving as a state psychological examiner.
LaVerne was a lifetime member of the American Legion, VFW and DAV. He was an NRA member and an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Huron. In 1982, he was awarded the Outstanding Service Medal, the highest award the military gives to a civilian.
Survivors include his wife, Nell, of Huron; a brother, Herbert Tollefson, of Menno; a sister, Melba Sorben of Huron; and many nieces and nephews.
Laverne was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Lyle; and two sisters, Beulah Johnson and Pauline Miiller.
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