Garry Tollefson

Mt. Vernon

Tollefson obit 39   Garry Tollefson, 76, of Mt. Vernon, died Sunday, May 8, 2016, at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls.
Funeral services were Friday, May 13, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Mitchell. Burial was at Mt. Vernon Cemetery in Mt. Vernon. Visitation was Thursday, May 12, at the Bittner Funeral Chapel in Mitchell.
Garry Richard Tollefson was born Feb. 3, 1940, near Cuthbert in Sanborn County, to Lyle Richard and Dorene (Adams) Tollefson. He attended school in Mt. Vernon. He loved working for his uncle, Herbert Tollefson, on the farm near Woonsocket and hunting with his uncle, LaVerne Tollefson.
At the young age of 15, he met the love of his life, Sara (Sally) Morgan, marrying three years later on Sept. 20, 1958.
As a young man, Garry worked as an automobile mechanic for Marlyn Gjesdal in Mt. Vernon. He spent five years in the sport of boxing with Mitchell UCT and went to work for Montgomery Ward in Mitchell as a tire shop foreman before he accepted a position at Hormel Meats Company. When the Mitchell Hormel plant closed, Garry went to work at Mt. Vernon School, as a maintenance man and school bus driver.
He served the community of Mt. Vernon as the Justice of Peace and 41 years as a volunteer fireman. He was a South Dakota National Guardsman, serving in the 153rd Engineering Battalion. He was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1973, serving faithfully for 43 years.
Garry is survived by his wife, Sara (Sally); four sons, Roger (Pamela) of Gering, Neb., Richard (Teresa) of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Daniel of Sturgis, Mich., and Matthew (Diedre) of Syracuse, N.Y.; two daughters, Janette (Dan) Block of Sioux Falls, and Nancy (Don) Gehrke of Luverne, Minn.; three brothers, Darrell (DeeDee) of Aberdeen, Herbert L. of Luverne, Minn., and Eugene (Kathy) of Parkston; two sisters, Gloria Ann (Mel) Tuffs of Mt. Vernon, and Dorene (Richard) Polz of Jackson, Minn.; one sister-in-law, Mary Lou Tollefson of Mitchell; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Randall; one sister, Martha Hanson; and one brother-in-law, James C. Hanson.
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