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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (in the Old Testament of the Bible) tells us there is a right time for everything.

“I have called you by name, Bud, you are Mine” read the banner on the wall. Thus, it was time to celebrate the memory of Bud Tollefson on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at LeSueur River Lutheran Church, rural New Richland, Minnesota.

You could tell it was going to be a great celebration of his life as, at his viewing prior to the service, Bud was holding a Riverview Golf Course golf ball along with wearing a special handmade tie of flashlights. With “Bud Tollefson” on the outside of the coffin, you got the feeling that he was a much-loved person.

Pastor Brian Gegel led the service, telling many great memories of Bud.

Son Tom Tollefson gave the family memories of Bud – all of a good, kind, caring man.

Granddaughter Abigail Tollefson sang a solo, “Day By Day.” Abigail, about age 10, was later joined by Emma Tollefson and Jason Fry to sing “Amazing Grace” with Chris Tollefson the accompanist.

Just north of St. Olaf Lake, about 70 years ago, two out of three neighbors were related. The families of Hanson, Haug and Tollefson all had the same grandparents who were siblings. Growing up as boy relatives, many had nicknames such as Buddy or Bobby. As the boy grew older the name became “Bud” or in my case “Bob.” Yes, Bud and I were part of the related neighbors. Yes, the unrelated neighbors knew us “real good” and vice versa.

Genie and I found out the crappies were biting at Beaver Lake. We rented a boat from Noel Thompson, bought minnows, soda pop, and candy bars, and went fishing. After cleaning 30 crappies, word got to Bud and Kathryn. I’m not sure how it happened or who attended, but we ended up with a late Saturday night-early Sunday morning fish fry at the Tollefson farm in 1961 (a fond memory).

Bud and Kathryn attended most of the Soup and Pie Suppers held yearly in September at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church. He always let me know the LeSueur River Tribe was there (another fond memory).

The last time I talked to Bud, I asked how it was that he had such talented grandchildren. The answer was one word: “Stock,” and then his infectious laugh (my best memory: the laugh).

To me, this was most certainly an accepting funeral. Thank you, Bud, for the memories.


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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