To view a livestream of the service visit https://bethanylutheranchurch58701.com/livestream/
Duane Miles Tollefson, 96, longtime Minot businessman, passed into Gods loving arms on September 16, 2023, in his home following a severe stroke on September 12th. His loving family was at his side.
Duane was born July 31, 1927 at Trinity Hospital – Minot, ND to Ole T. and Myrtle (Nygaard) Tollefson. He was raised in Minot and graduated from Minot High School in 1945. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in May of 1945 and served until September of 1946. Following his honorable discharge, he returned to Minot where he attended Minot State University for 2 years. He furthered his education at the University of Colorado – Boulder and graduated in 1950 with a degree in Business Marketing and Management. After college he accepted a position with Kauffman Furniture in Minneapolis, MN. In 1953, Duane and his brother Orlan, purchased Tollefson’s Furniture from their father Ole. They grew their business in many ways with several different business ventures (Depot Sales Burlington, Kenmare Furniture, Warehouse Furniture Sales, Tollefson’s Carpetland, The Carpet Garage and started an import wig business).
The business was later sold to Duane’s son, Mark, and his nephew, Roger. It is currently owned and operated by the fourth generation of the Tollefson family. Duane was recently interviewed for a video that is being produced for the company’s 100th Anniversary!
Duane was united in marriage to Sharlene Kenner on September 21, 1958 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church- Devils Lake, ND. They made their home in Minot and were the parents of Mark, Susan and Kristin.
Duane has been a faithful member of Bethany Lutheran Church since 1927. He was baptized and confirmed at Bethany and throughout the years, he served on various committees there.
He has been an active member of the Minot community and was involved in many organizations. He was a member of the American Legion and its Drum and Bugle Corps, Diplomats, Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, Sons of Norway, Jaycees, YMCA, Metigoshe Ministries Board of Directors, Minot Chamber of Commerce, and Minot Exchange Club. He was one of the founding members of the Norsk Hostfest, and chairman of the Minot Housing Authority.
Duane was a Boy Scout when he was younger and later became a leader for the Bethany Lutheran Boy Scout Troop. He was also the chairman of the Tomahawk District for the Boy Scouts of America as well as serving on the board of directors for the Northern Lights Council. He received the Silver Beaver Award which is the highest honor given to a leader for the BSA and received the Order of the Arrow.
During Duane’s later years he continued his passion of weekly meetings with the Know It All’s, Bethany’s “Breakfast with the Boys” and Bible Study groups.
After Duane retired in 1988, Duane and Sharlene spent 15 winters in Panama City, Florida and enjoyed numerous summer days at their lake home on Lake Metigoshe. Duane also had a great passion for sailing and he built from scratch his own sailboat naming it “The Susie K”.
Duane had a love for the outdoors and was an avid waterfowl hunter and fisherman. He also had a passion for the family farm in Churchs Ferry.
Duane had a great love for God, his family and friends along with the entire community. He never hesitated to lend a helping hand wherever it was needed. Those who knew Duane would tell you that he loved to gift them with some of his wisdom. He was devoted to his wife Sharlene and the care she needed after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
Duane’s loving family includes his children: Mark (Peggy) Tollefson of Churchs Ferry, ND and Susan (Kevin) Mayo of Boise, Idaho; grandchildren: Jordan, Brandon and Kellen Tollefson; Cade and Karly Mayo and Keon and Elise Garvin; great grandchildren: Kaiya and Kinsley Tollefson and Maxwell Tolley Garvin; step grandchildren: Tyler Visina, Danielle Baumgartner, MacKenzie Hildahl and Ian Visina; sister: Phyllis (Neville) Kempkes of Denver, CO; in-laws: Gary (Sandra) Kenner and Diane (Jim) Isaak and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Duane was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Sharlene Tollefson, his parents, daughter: Kristin Tollefson, brother: Orlan (Rosie) Tollefson and daughter-in-law: Lori Tollefson.
Celebration of the Life of Duane Tollefson: Thursday, September 21, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. in Bethany Lutheran Church, Minot. To view a livestream of the service visit https://bethanylutheranchurch58701.com/livestream/
Interment will be in Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Wednesday, September 20, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
In lieu of plants and flowers, memorials are preferred to the Bethany Lutheran Church Foundation, Metigoshe Ministries, or the Lord’s Cupboard of Minot.