Cover photo for Gerald Ray Tollefson's Obituary
Gerald Ray Tollefson Profile Photo
1936 Gerald 2020

Gerald Ray Tollefson

April 28, 1936 — September 14, 2020

Gerald Tollefson, age 84, of Pelican Rapids, MN, died Monday, September 14, 2020 at his home. Gerald Ray was born April 28, 1936 at the Boysen Hospital in Pelican Rapids to Eddie and Minnie (Gustafson) Tollefson. He was a member of Central Lutheran Church was baptized, confirmed and went to Sunday School there. He also served on the council, cemetery board and helped build on the new addition to the church. Gerald started school at District 35E in 1942. He also went a short time to District 548 in Pelican Rapids. In 1955 he worked a short time at Ebersvillers Implement in Pelican. Due to the health of his father, he spent the rest of his life at home on the Dairy farm. On June 23, 1962, Gerald was married to Ottillie Mary Swanson at the Bagstevold Lutheran Church in Erhard. From 1958 to 1964 1st class Gerald served with the Air Force National Guard in Fargo, six years after completing his training at Lakeland Air Base in Texas. Farming embodied who Jerry was. From milking cows, to fixing tractors and machinery, to planting and harvesting the fields, he embraced the aspects of the ever-changing life of farming. Although his formal education took him only through the 8th grade, his abilities served him well and he passed these skills down to his sons and then down to his grandchildren. Jerry had such a kind and patient disposition that encouraged others to learn from him. After the dairy cows were gone, Jerry had more time to do some of the things he enjoyed. These included hunting, fishing, gardening, watching the Twins games and old western movies. He also loved to take the family dogs for rides in his Ranger. Jerry spent many hours in the wood working shop making many gifts to give to family and friends. Attending his grandchildren’s sporting events became a highlight for him. In spite of Jerry’s declining health, he was able to continue with helping with fieldwork which he loved through the harvest of 2019. Gerald is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ottillie; three sons: Ted (Arlinda Emery), Jack (Ruth Price) and Daren (Amy Holdeman); seven grandchildren: Nathan (Brittany Walters) Tollefson, Derek Tollefson, Clare (Spencer Hart), Ben Tollefson, Luke Tollefson, Kaleb Tollefson, and Greta Tollefson; sister Elda (Tollefson) Uppman; sisters-in-law: Sharon Swanson, Clarice (Larry) Peterson, Diann (Larry) Drechsel; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers-in-law: Gene Swanson and Dennis Uppman. Visitation will be on Saturday, September 19, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. with funeral service at 2 p.m., at Tollefson Farmstead, 20581 380th Street, Pelican Rapids, Minnesota with reception to follow. Burial will be at 4:30 p.m. at Central Lutheran Cemetery, Pelican Rapids, Minnesota. Please bring your own chairs!! The family encourages you to wear a face mask and practice social distancing. Clergy: Allen Westby, S.A.M. and Pastor Brad Soenksen Please keep the Tollefson family in your thoughts and prayers. Gerald's Memorial Folder
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Visitation

Saturday, September 19, 2020

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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