Herbert Tollefson


February 12, 1943 - November 14, 2020


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.


To Be Announced


To Be Announced


To Be Announced

Posted by Susan Raynor on December 15, 2020
There was a candle brightly burning in North Carolina this past Sunday in love and memory of Herb Tollefson. Our neighborhood had luminaries to symbolize Peace and Hope during this time of the year. Someone who thought fondly of him, made a special place in the display. My sympathies to the family that will miss him, and I have a grateful heart in learning about his life. A prayer for comfort and peace has been said on your behalf.
Posted by Mathers family on December 4, 2020
Herb will be remembered by all of us as a helping an caring man.. Always ready to help if needed.
He enjoyed visiting an had a great time playing cards an teasing who ever won or lost.. RIP Herb
Posted by Roy & Carol Pope on November 28, 2020
Herb will be missed. He was a special guy. We have found memories of double dates and good times.
Posted by Gary Shay on November 27, 2020
Just heard the news of Herb's passing. Herb was indeed all the things others have said and more. He had the biggest smile and even greater spirit, one that few can match, including a heart of gold.
Posted by Denny, Kathy Walz on November 24, 2020
So sorry for your loss. Prayers and blessings to the family.
Posted by Rob Shay on November 23, 2020
The world is a better place because of Herb, he was a good man and will be missed.
Posted by Janel (Smith) Hays on November 22, 2020
Sorry to hear the loss of Herb. He was great school bus driver.
Posted by Darin and Katie Moke and Family on November 22, 2020
We're so sorry for your loss. Herb was a wonderful man, and I'll remember fondly the many hours spent talking with him. He'll be sorely missed by everyone that knew him!
Posted by Dan and Janette Block on November 22, 2020
What a beautiful tribute and picture of uncle Herb! Our deepest sympathies to all who knew and loved him. We always enjoyed visiting with him what a loving person. My dad Garry and Herb had many enjoyable years living in Mt. Vernon together. Thinking of all good times will help us deal with this grief. Sincere prayers to the entire Tollefson family we love you!!
Posted by Richard Tollefson on November 22, 2020
Fond memories of Herb as an uncle and also as the mechanic at Dirk’s. He will be missed today, but remembered tomorrow. Prayers to all of the Tollefson Family during this time of sorrow.
Posted by Brenda Hartz on November 22, 2020
Herb will be missed he was a kind and generous man. He was such a big supporter of my mother and would help anyone out if they needed it. Thank you Uncle Herb for being present for my mom so many years and for the support and comfort you have shared with your family and friends! Hugs for his family in this time of loss may he reunited with the family and friends he loved dearly and lost.
Posted by Kara Hutton on November 22, 2020
Our condolences to you all during this difficult time. Prayers are being sent for peace for the whole family. Kara Hutton and family
Posted by ROBERT& DOROTHY PARKER on November 21, 2020
Posted by Pam Stransky on November 21, 2020
Herb was an amazing man and greatly appreciated and admired by anyone who knew him. He will be missed.
Posted by Suzanne Lyman on November 21, 2020
Herb was a special man. What a beautifully written obituary that somehow conveyed all that he was! When Herb spoke to you he made you feel special and would do anything for you. Kurt and I so appreciated how he looked after Gloria so well after she lost Mel. He will be greatly missed. We are comforted by the fact that he is now without pain and with our Heavenly Father.
Posted by Jeffrey and Kathy Fouberg on November 20, 2020
To Tollefson family, we are sorry for your loss. Prayers!
Posted by Bennett and Stephanie Fagan on November 20, 2020
Good journey, Mr. Tollefson.
Posted by Linda Hostler on November 20, 2020
So sorry for your loss Chris and family. Your family has our deepest sympathy. RIP HERB. Prayers and hugs to all.
Posted by Ron and Deb Baker on November 20, 2020
Our deepest sympathy. Herb worked for my dad for many years. When I helped at the station he was always there to tease me or pull a prank. We shared many laughs. He was a kind man and a hard worker. RIP Herb.
Posted by Vicky Brooks Bailey on November 20, 2020
Marilyn & family , So very airry for your loss. Herb was a very nice guy. R.I.P. & God bless you all..
Posted by Linda Otterpohl on November 19, 2020
My sympathies to the family. So sorry for your loss.
Posted by The Reyelts on November 18, 2020
So sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May God comfort you and place a hand upon you.
Posted by Ray and Rhoni Hanson on November 17, 2020
So sorry for you loss, prayers for all
Posted by Shirlee & Randy Burmeister on November 17, 2020
So sorry for your loss. Blessings and hugs to the family. He was a great guy!
Posted by Tim and Millie Wermers on November 17, 2020
To Herb's family; so sorry for your loss.
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