Sharlene M. Tollefson

Sharlene Marie Tollefson, 85, Minot, died Saturday, June 3, 2023 at her home surrounded by her loving family and hospice.

Sharlene was born on October 4, 1937 on the family farm west of Devils Lake, North Dakota, the oldest child of Arthur and Claire (Otto) Kenner. She was raised and educated in Devils Lake and graduated from Devils Lake Central High School in 1955 and had served as the homecoming Queen in 1953. She furthered her education at Trinity School of Nursing in Minot and received a Registered Nursing degree in 1958.

Sharlene was united in marriage to the love of her life, Duane Tollefson on September 21, 1958 at Devils Lake. They made their home in Minot, where she was employed for a short time at Trinity Hospital in pediatrics. Duane and Sharlene were blessed with three children. She was able to stay at home to care for them and worked part time for Dr. Libi, while Duane ran the family business, Tollefson’s Furniture, Carpetland and Carpet Garage. They were blessed with 64 years together.

Duane and Sharlene enjoyed traveling the world and spent a number of winters in Panama City, Florida, along with a number of summers at Lake Metigoshe where they had many lifelong friends.

Sharlene was a longtime member of Bethany Lutheran Church, Church Women’s Circle group, served faithfully as a Brownie Leader, 4-H leader, Cub Scout leader, Room mother, PTA and with PEO Chapter AG.

Sharlene was diagnosed with M.S. in 1990. Despite her pain and inability to walk, she always had a smile and never complained. She had a genuine elegance in her grace, kindness and selflessness. She was a luminous beauty and love that made you feel like all the goodness in the Universe touched you. When you were around her – even though her body betrayed her, she was everyone’s biggest cheerleader!

Her loving family includes, husband of 64 years, Duane; children, Mark (Peggy) Tollefson, Church’s Ferry, ND; Susan (Kevin) Mayo, Boise, ID; 7 grandchildren, Jordan, Brandon, Kellen Tollefson; Cade & Karly Mayo; Keon & Elise Garvin; 3 great grandchildren, Kaiya & Kinsley Tollefson and Maxwell Tolley Garvin; siblings, Gary (Sandra) Kenner, Chippewa Falls, WI and Diane (Jim) Isaak, Bismarck, ND; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Sharlene was preceded in death by her parents and daughter, Kristin Tollefson.

Celebration of life service: Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. in Bethany Lutheran Church.                                     
Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Tuesday, June 6, 2023 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
In lieu of flowers or plants, memorials are preferred to Bethany Lutheran Church Foundation or Metigoshe Ministries.

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