Charles Tollefsrud, 91, of Mabel
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 5:25 AM
Charles Tollefsrud, 91, of Mabel, formerly of Decorah, died on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, at the Green Lea Manor in Mabel.
Charles William Tollefsrud was born on Oct. 20, 1922, the son of Jorgen (George) Truman and Selma Marian (Hebranson) Tollefsrud near Hesper in Winneshiek County, Iowa. He was baptized on Dec. 3, 1922, at the Mabel First Lutheran Church in Mabel 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 Nov. 28, 1944, he was united in marriage to Ruth Lucille Rustad at St. John's Lutheran Church in Locust, Iowa.
From Feb. 17, 1945, to Aug. 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 in 1965, where he was a carpenter. He helped build the top floors of the Guggenheim Building at Mayo Clinic.
He and his wife 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 they moved to Decorah in April 1991 where they built their retirement home. Due to health reasons, they moved to The Meadows Assisted Living Facility in Mabel on July 9, 2005. Mr. Tollefsrud entered the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in October 2007.
He loved to dance, and he and wife went to Matters several times a month in their younger years. Even though he was confined to a wheelchair, he still kept time with the music using his hands and feet. He enjoyed camping and trout fishing. He and his wife took many trips to Phoenix, Ariz., for the winter months 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.
He was a member of the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church.
He is survived by his eight children, Cheryl Fish of Shell Rock, Iowa, Carol (Marvin) Gunderson of Spring Grove, Barbara (Tom) Davis of Canton, Linda (Leo) Zeig of New Ulm, Daryl (Fran) Tollefsrud of Peoria, Ariz., Rhonda (Mike) Stepanek of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Janet Mottet of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Patricia (Randy) Roethlisberger of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 19 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 and Jeni Mottet, Maxwell Roethlisberger and Nicole Roethlisberger; 26 great-grandchildren, Ami and Jessica Phillips, Donny Shimek, Shannon Dotzenrod, Lexi, Brady, Zachary, Samuel and Lilyann Gunderson, Brent, Chandler and Davis Erickson, Delanie and Avery Davis, McKayla, Jordan, Emma, Leyton and Reese Miller, Baylee Rawlinson, Liam Logan, Reid, James, Keesten and Raylei Stepanek and Liliana Roethlisberger; five great-great-grandchildren, Brayden Novak, Ezra Phillips, Zeppelin Gossman, Veda and Hazel Shimek; four sisters, Florence Headington of Decorah, Inga Halverson of Rochester, Delores Armstrong of Arkansas and Margaret Kemple of Rochester; brothers-in-law, George Kruse and Alan Holkesvik, both of Decorah; sisters-in-law, Shirley (Rustad) Brooks of Houston, Texas, and Jeanette Rustad-Stenseth of Decorah; and many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Lucille 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 and Bernard Lind; sisters-in-law, Beth Tollefsrud and Irene Tollefsrud; and a son-in-law, Frank Phillips.
Funeral services were held on Monday at the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church in Decorah with the Rev. Mark Kvale presiding. Burial was in the church cemetery.