Herbert Tollefson, 77, of Mt. Vernon, SD, died Saturday, November 14, 2020 of natural causes at his home. The family is planning a memorial service for a later date. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.
Herb was born to Lyle and Dorene (Adams) Tollefson near Fulton SD on February 12 1943. He attended Mount Vernon Public Schools and graduated in 1962. He was united in marriage to Faye J. Hoelker on October 28, 1962.
He worked for Marlyn Gjesdal as a machinist and mechanic starting in his grade school years.
After graduation he worked for Dicus Motors and spent many years in Mt Vernon with Dirks Service, as well as Plankinton Motors and as a self-employed mechanic and owner of Tolly’s Repair. All who knew Herb knew him as a master mechanic.
In 1974, he began his long career with the railroad starting with Milwaukee Railroad as an engine watchman and electrician. He worked for various small railroads until his retirement in 2017. He was proud of his 35 year career.
Herb came from a civic-minded family. He served on the fire department for more than 25 years. Additionally he served on the city council and was an advisor to many.
Throughout his life, Herb held a variety of small jobs in the Mt. Vernon area including school bus driver, handyman work, and did odd jobs for many people in the area. Herb’s ability to procure items for those in need was second to none.
After retirement he moved back to Mt. Vernon full-time where he enjoyed being closer to family and continued to work on passion projects and do odd jobs. Herb loved to be busy and he loved to work. Herb was a friend to all who knew him. He developed many life-long friendships and spending time with friends was treasured.
Herb’s heart was full of love for his family and it was important for him to impart his unique talents and skills to his children and grandchildren. His work ethic, honesty, loyalty, generosity, sense of humor and pride were well known by those who met him or ever dealt with him. He loved talking about his days spent on the railroad. He enjoyed working on cars, mowing lawns, and playing cards. He will be greatly missed.
Herb is survived by siblings Darrell (Delores) Tollefson, Gloria Tuffs, Gene (Kathy) Tollefson, Dorene (Richard) Polz, his 3 sons, Steven (Nancy) Tollefson of Lincoln, Nebraska; Marlyn (Paula) Tollefson , Mt. Vernon, South Dakota; and Chris (Sarah) Tollefson of Fort Mill, South Carolina, as well as a daughter-in-law Karen Tollefson of Mitchell, South Dakota. He was very proud of his 10 grandchildren: Nicholas Schoenfelder, Rachel Soulek, Emily Meidinger, Margaret Hoefs, Olivia (Ashton) Clackum, Collyn Tollefson, Samantha Tollefson, Marly Leddy, Carter Leddy, Carena Tollefson. He also gained three more “honorary” grandchildren in Daniel Wrobleski, Richie Wrobleski and Tristan Leddy. Additionally he is survived by six great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents Lyle and Edith Dorene, brothers Randy and Garry, his sister, Martha, brothers-in law, Mel Tuffs and Jim Hanson, and one son, Herbert Lyle Tollefson.
Cards and memorials can be mailed to PO Box 33, Mt Vernon, SD 57363.