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Charles Tollefsrud

Tue, Dec 17th, 2013
Posted in Mabel Obituaries

Charles Tollefsrud, age 91, of Mabel, Minn., formerly of Decorah, Iowa, died on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, at the Green Lea Manor in Mabel.

Charles William Tollefsrud was born on October 20, 1922, the son of Jorgen (George) Truman and Selma Marian (Hebranson) Tollefsrud near Hesper, Iowa in Winneshiek County, Iowa. He was baptized on December 3, 1922, at the Mabel First Lutheran Church in Mabel, Minnesota, and confirmed at Big Canoe Lutheran Church in 1937. He attended rural schools through the eighth grade. His mother died when he was 13 years old and from then on, he worked for different people in the area to help make money. On November 28, 1944, he was united in marriage to Ruth Lucille Rustad on at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Locust, Iowa. From February 17, 1945 to August 31, 1946, he served in the United States Army in the 7th Infantry Division, 17th Infantry Regt., also in the Asiatic – Pacific Theater/Japan. He returned following the service and was engaged in farming in the Decorah area until moving to Rochester, Minnesota, 1965, where he was a carpenter. He helped build the top floors of the Guggenheim Building at Mayo Clinic. They lived there until 1972, when they moved to Hiawatha, Iowa, where he started his own business “Chuck’s Sanitary Service”. He retired in 1985 and then they moved in April 1991 to Decorah where they built their retirement home. Due to health reasons, they moved to The Meadows Assisted Living Facility in Mabel, Minnesota, on July 9, 2005. Charles entered the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in October 2007. He loved to dance and he and wife, Ruth went to Matters several times a month, in their younger years. Even though he was confined to a wheelchair, Judy Vickerman, Activity Director at Green Lea said, that he still had the “beat”, with his hands and feet keeping time to the music. Charles enjoyed camping and trout fishing. They took many trips to Phoenix, Arizona for the winter months, to visit son, Daryl, until his health started to fail in 2000. He also enjoyed when the grandchildren came to visit. During his stay at Green Lea Manor he enjoyed Bingo, and any old time music, especially Polka music and the Jim Busta Band. Charles was a member of the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church.

Charles is survived by his eight children: Cheryl Fish, Shell Rock, Iowa; Carol (Marvin) Gunderson, Spring Grove, Minn.; Barbara (Tom) Davis, Canton, Minn.; Linda (Leo) Zeig, New Ulm, Minn.; Daryl (Fran) Tollefsrud, Peoria, Ariz.; Rhonda (Mike) Stepanek, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Janet Mottet, Cedar Rapids; and Patricia (Randy) Roethlisberger, Cedar Rapids. Nineteen grandchildren: Lori (Mark) Martin, Larry (Sharon) Phillips, Kevin Phillips, Tim (Allison) Gunderson, Terry Gunderson, James (Kristie) Davis, Jennifer (Peter) Erickson, Brian Miller, Jeff (Jessica) Miller, Jason (Casie) Miller, Kellie (Alex) Logan, Krista (fiancé, Cory Murphy) Tollefsrud, Alissa (Ryan) Rawlinson, Brentt (Kristin) Stepanek, Chad (Jayme) Stepanek, Justin & Jeni Mottet, Maxwell Roethlisberger & Nicole Roethlisberger. Twenty-six great grandchildren: Ami & Jessica Phillips, Donny Shimek, Shannon Dotzenrod, Lexi, Brady, Zachary, Samuel & Lilyann Gunderson, Brent, Chandler & Davis Erickson, Delanie & Avery Davis, McKayla, Jordan, Emma, Leyton & Reese Miller, Baylee Rawlinson, Liam Logan, Reid, James, Keesten & Raylei Stepanek, and Liliana Roethlisberger. Five great great grandchildren: Brayden Novak, Ezra Phillips, Zeppelin Gossman, Veda & Hazel Shimek. Four sisters: Florence Headington, Decorah, Iowa; Inga Halverson, Rochester, Minn.; Delores Armstrong, Arkansas, and Margaret Kemple, Rochester. Brothers-in-law: George Kruse and Alan Holkesvik, both of Decorah. Sisters-in-law: Shirley (Rustad) Brooks, Houston, Texas, Jeanette Rustad-Stenseth, Decorah, along with many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Charles was preceded in death by his wife: Ruth Lucille Tollefsrud. His parents: George and Selma (Herbranson) Tollefsrud. Two brothers: Truman and Gilman Tollefsrud. Three sisters: Laverne Hegland, Gloria Lind and Donna Kruse. Brothers-in-law: Milo Headington, Duane Halverson, Robert Armstrong, Dick Kemple, Ray Hegland, Bernard Lind. Sisters-in-law: Beth Tollefsrud and Irene Tollefsrud. Son-in-law: Frank Phillips.

Funeral services were on Monday, December 16, 2013, at the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church with Rev. Mark Kvale presiding. Burial followed in the church cemetery.

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