Dorene Tollefson


October 21, 1917 - January 13, 2013



Edith Dorene Tollefson was born October 21, 1917, at Newell, SD, to Harry and Fern (Holdren) Adams. She attended schools at Vale and graduated from Vale High School. She married Lyle Tollefson November 20, 1935, in Belle Fourche. They farmed in Sanborn County and Hanson County and then moved to Mount Vernon in 1950. She had been a resident of Mitchell since 2005.

She worked at the Mount Vernon School in the lunchroom and was a Nurse’s Aide at the Storla Sunset Home.  She always had a large garden, loved flowers and taught her children to make bread and can.  She also loved music and playing the piano.  She was a wonderful mom.

She is survived by four sons: Darrell (Dee Dee) Tollefson of Sioux Falls; Garry (Sally) Tollefson of Mount Vernon; Herbert Tollefson of Sioux Falls; Eugene (Kathy) Tollefson of Parkston; two daughters: Gloria Ann (Mel) Tuffs of Mount Vernon; Dorene (Richard) Polz of Jackson, MN and daughter-in-law, Mary Lou Tollefson of Mitchell; thirty-five grandchildren, sixty-four great-grandchildren and twenty great- great- grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband Lyle in 2004, one son, Randall Tollefson, one daughter, Martha Hanson, a brother, Everett Adams and a twin brother, Donald Adams, two grandsons, Herb Tollefson Jr. and Michael Polz, one great-grandson, Jason Tollefson, one great-granddaugher, Stephanie Lyman and a son-in-law, Jim Hanson.  


Thursday, January 17, 2013
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
South Highway 37
Mitchell, South Dakota


Thursday, January 17, 2013
2:00 PM
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
South Highway 37
Mitchell, South Dakota


Mount Vernon Cemetery
Mount Vernon, South Dakota

Posted by Rick Tollefson on January 17, 2013
I (growing up in Mt. Vernon) had the unique privaledge of having my grandparents close. Memories that were made on that property have forever shaped me as a human being. It didnt take long with grandpa and grandma to see where my dad got his work ethic and the drive to pass it on. They were 2 of the hardest working people on the planet. I as a young child could not figure it out, why keep it up, "Its what we love to do" she said. As I've grown older and have 2 boys to train, I know why. It was all for a game of cards.
Posted by Bette Procknow on January 16, 2013
Gary, so sorry to hear about your mother, but she lived a good life. I know you and Sally will miss her. Our prayers are with you.
Bette & Bruce
Posted by Joyce (Lee) Murphy on January 16, 2013
So sorry for your loss. I remember good times many years ago spending time with Uncle Lyle and Aunt Dorene and the family. Their home was always warm, inviting and caring. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
Posted by marsha hartz on January 16, 2013
what a wonderful way for family to connect - never heard of such a thing, but I like it! Godspeed, Dorene.
Posted by Steve Tollefson on January 16, 2013
What can I say that my cousin’s haven’t said, this was the last living Grand Parent I have.
Memories of stopping over to visit afterschool, grandpa sleeping in his rocker and grandma canning something, offering whatever fruit or vegetable was in season as a taste test. All the mowing around the rock gardens, all the beautiful flowers of all kinds. Bringing in wood and scooping snow for them and all the fuss they made when my wife and I would just drop in and knowing that we were always welcome.
Rodney and Roger my brother Herb and I always seemed to be pulling weeds or tilling or mowing or running from the bees. It sure seemed like work at the time, but now I look back and think fun we had working{ playing} with cousins, what a privilege it was to keep busy and out of trouble which now I see how they provided an opportunity to be with people that loved us. Oh and then there was the candy and good food.
The example of both grandma and grandpa were of thrifty, capable and hardworking, generous, to community and neighbors as well as strangers.
They were not perfect but they were ours
Posted by Charola Martinek on January 15, 2013
I am one of the great gradchildren, .. I will hold close the memories I hold with you and Great. Grandpa...i will never forget my time with you - you made your mark on alot of this family and we love you for it . There are two things i heard in your home.... that have changed my life one... "remember me as I am today , " and two.... "never fall out of love on the same day, thats how to make marriage last" - amazing the things we can learn from. Our. Grandparents... untill we meet again - with love Charola
Posted by Rod Lyman on January 15, 2013
Grandma I am so very grateful have you in my life. Now that Grandmother received her diploma and made that finial walk towards her destination. She will be able to watch over all of us at once now. One of my favorite quotes from my grandmother was "its in the crust". I love my grandmother and she played a huge part in raising me. I am grateful for that.
Posted by Laurinda Hubbard on January 15, 2013
Grandma was an amazing person. She raised 8 wonderful children and was always there for Grandpa. Growing up I only lived a block from their house. I remember shucking peas, snapping beans, canning tomatoes, freezing corn, peeling apples, picking raspberries & strawberries, pulling weeds and helping mow the lawn. She made the best bread and apple pies. Mark will never forget when she made several apple pies for the fire department when he worked there. Everyone loved them. Thanks Grandma for teaching me to appreciate the important things in life.
Love you,
Laurinda, Mark, & Keil Hubbard
Posted by Robyn Nelson on January 15, 2013
Grandma will be greatly missed. Such great memories of working in grandpa and grandma's garden and picking from the trees, then being rewarded with homemade apple pie and ice cream. I will never forget the rows of canned jars in the basement and grandma always made sure you went home with something! She was such a hard worker, I always admired her for that. I can't wait to see her and grandpa again.
Posted by Marcus Polz on January 15, 2013
Grandma, I remember spending so much time with you in the summers. It seemed that virtually every childhood birthday I had we celebrated at your home in Mt. Vernon. You would get me ice cream and often seemed like aunt Gloria would bring a cake and grandpa would slip me a five dollar bill and say happy birthday Marc, get yourself some candy.  Our family would always come back in the fall and we’d pick vegetable and fruit from the trees and you’d share with me your vast knowledge of canning. I was still getting tips from you a few years ago from you at your apartment in Mitchell. You had a full and wonderful life, you and grandpa filled me with so many memories. With your passing we witness the end of an era. My family and I will now celebrate your life and memory and have comfort remembering the beautiful wooden carving on your dining room cabinet that had one simple word, “Jesus”. Thru my childhood that carving would draw my eye and give me comfort and may now Jesus draw you into his arms and give you comfort. Until we meet again, long live your memory. With my sincerest condolences to all your loved one, You are gone but not lost. The Family of Marcus Polz
Posted by pamela lipe on January 14, 2013
My prayers are with the family,I pray that God gives you comfort and strength at this difficult time.
Posted by Lynn Hubbard on January 14, 2013
She was a dear grandma. As a young child, I loved staying with gramps and grandma. Helping in the Orchard of Apples, Pears, Apicots, Strawberries, blueberries, gooseberries. That was their pride and joy, as well as their children and grandchildren.
She was funny and full of wit and never minced words. You always knew where you stood with grandma.
We look forward to the day we have her and grandpa back in perfect health, and can teach us how to grow a beauiful orchard and garden.
Thankfully she is resting in peace.
Our condolences to my dad (Darrell), Gary, Gene, Herb, Gloria, and Dorene.
Linda (Lynn), Perry, Brooke and Zach Hubbard
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