County Commissioner David “Tolly” Tollefson dies

Published 10:09 am Saturday, December 5, 2009

David Roy “Tolly” Tollefson, Mower County’s 5th District commissioner and chair of the board, died Thursday.

He was 72 and battled cancer.

“It’s so sad,” said Tim Gabrielson, the county’s 1st District commissioner. “He’s a great guy who did a lot under some adverse health conditions all of a sudden. He’s certainly going to be missed.”

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Tollefson was born Feb. 25, 1937 in Rushford and married Peggy Otto on July 23, 1961, in Redwood Falls.

In 1963, they moved to Austin where they raised three children. “Tolly” worked for Gamble Robinson, the Austin Park & Rec. and J.I. Holcomb. He spent his summers from 1963–1984 umpiring softball nationwide and was inducted into the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame in 1984.

“Tolly” and Peggy opened Tolly’s Time Out in 1984.

In 1998, “Tolly” bought a cabin in his childhood stomping grounds of Pilot Mound. Other hobbies included golf, bowling, Gopher athletics, church, spending time riding his tractor at the cabin and taking road trips.

After retiring in 2006, he was elected county commissioner in 2006.

Gabrielson praised commissioner Tollefson’s efforts on the new Mower County Jail and Justice Center, which is scheduled for completion late next year.

“He’s the one who really worked to get things in line so that it would come downtown,” Gabrielson said. “The thing had been stagnate for too many years.”

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, Dec. 7 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church with The Reverend Ron Barnett Officiating.

Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin. Visitation will be at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary on Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. and for one hour before the service at the church on Monday.

Tollefson’s district covers portions of southwest and southeast Austin.

“It’s just going to be really different without him, as a friend and a fellow commissioner,” Gabrielson said.

Austin Mayor Tom Stiehm said commissioner Tollefson was good for relations between Austin and Mower County.

“It’s a great loss for the city and the county,” Stiehm said. “He will be next to impossible to replace.”