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Sponsored obituary: May Arline Tollefson

May Arline Tollefson passed away on February 20, 2006 at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. She was born in Melvina, Wisconsin April 18, 1921, the daughter of Otto and Mabel Erickson. She attended grade schools in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and then attended the University of Madison.

Her ministry to God started as an Assistant Editor for the Lutheran Herald in Minneapolis in 1944. In 1947 she was married to Pastor Merle O. Tollefson. They came to California on their honeymoon to establish the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. This was the beginning of a 39 year ministry served in six parishes in the Golden State. She was active in the American Lutheran Church Women, serving on the board, speaking at retreats and seminars, and chairing three international women’s conventions.

Upon retiring they returned to Minnesota in 1986. Because of May’s ill health, they moved back to California in 1999.



May lived life to the fullest, enjoying children, grandchildren and great grandchildren with enthusiasm and unconditional love. She will be remembered for creating family memories we will all treasure.

She is survived by husband Merle; six children, John, Mather, CA; Don, Roseville, CA; Dave, Apple Valley, MN; Anne, Belgrade, MT; Paul, San Francisco, CA; and Margit, Farebault, MN, sixteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren.




A memorial service will be held at Peace Lutheran Church, Grass Valley, CA on February 25th at 1:30pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be given to the building fund at Grace Lutheran Church in Lincoln CA, Bread for the World, or a charity of your choice.


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