Cover photo for Verla Tollefson's Obituary
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1915 Verla 2013

Verla Tollefson

June 25, 1915 — September 3, 2013

Verla Tollefson, age 98, of Lengby, MN, passed away on Tuesday (September 3rd) at First Care Living Center in Fosston. Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday (September 7th) at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lengby with the Rev. Mark Faugstad officiating. Interment will be in Immanuel Cemetery, Lengby. Family will greet friends for one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church. Arrangements are with the Carlin-Hoialmen Funeral Home of Fosston and messages of condolence may be sent at carlinhoialmen.com. Memorial donations may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lengby.Verla was born in Verndale, Minnesota to Charles and Zoe Myers Eklund on June 25, 1915. Her family, including four brothers and two sisters moved to Mahnomen County, Chief Township, when she was four years old.  She went to country school through the 8th grade having finished all the requirements at age 12. She helped her parents on the farm by herding cattle, raising turkeys, pigs, lambs, and chickens, and using horses for field work.  She married Oliver Tollefson on June 28, 1941. They settled in Lengby after World War II where they raised five children. Verla was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church and has been a life-long member.Verla was a naturalist, poet, sharpshooter, song-writer, and story teller.  She enjoyed reading Western novels, listening to country music, picking and preserving raspberries, gardening and spending time with her family. She especially loved horses and her dogs. She never shied away from hard work and there wasn't much that she couldn't do.  She made maple syrup, smoked fish, managed a ranch, built barbed wire fences, cut all her firewood for the winter, and wrote, illustrated and published her own poetry book. Later she wrote an autobiography "Minnesota Prairie Memories".Verla is preceded in death by her husband, parents, brothers Andrew, Alvin, Ovid, and Vernon; sisters Ethel "Dolly" Leslie and Esther Colshan, and grandchildren Kelly and Charles "Chuck", and great granddaughter Tristan.Verla is survived by her sons, Sidney (Linda) Tollefson of Bemidji and Bill (Sue) Tollefson of Twin Valley; daughters Betty (Charles) Puffinberger of Lengby, Hazel Jones of Moorhead, and Linda (Ervin) Dahl of Carlos and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.Memorial donations may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lengby or to the American Cancer Society.  The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Dr. Wesley Ofstedahl, the staff at First Care Living Center in Fosston, Dr. Gupta of the Cancer Clinic in Fargo, Reverend Mark Faugstad for his visits and support.
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