Cover photo for Arne M. Tollefson's Obituary
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Arne M. Tollefson

May 3, 1934 — May 23, 2023

Arne M. Tollefson

Devils Lake – Arne M. Tollefson, 89, of Devils Lake formerly of Maddock, ND area passed away on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at CHI St. Alexius Health.

Funeral Services for Arne will be held on Monday, May 29, 2023, at 1:00 P.M. at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake with Donna Gutschmidt officiating.  Burial will be in the South Viking Cemetery, rural Maddock following.  Visitation will be held on Monday, May 29, 2023 one hour prior to the funeral service.

Arne Melvin Tollefson was born on May 3, 1934, in Maddock.  He was the youngest of 5 children born to Carl and Ruby (Hovey) Tollefson. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church. The family lived on a farm north of Maddock.  He completed his educational requirements at Albert Township School.  Arne eventually took over the family farm.  Arne was passionate about farming and tending to the needs of his dairy and beef cattle.  

Arne found love later in life and was married to Ruth Varty on October 20, 1990.  They established their home in Maddock and Arne continued to farm.  Arne helped to raise two of his stepchildren Sara and Trent Hesse.  He and Ruth also helped raise their special Grandchild, Jay Garcia, who was like a son to them.

Arne enjoyed visiting with others over lunch at The Grill or Maddock Café and Lanes.  He participated in league bowling.  He enjoyed his John Deere equipment. Arne and Ruth often hosted large gatherings.  They would frequent any rummage sale in their path.  They would gift trinkets and special surprises to their many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  Arne and Ruth donated their one-room house which was full of their antique treasures to the City of Maddock for all to enjoy.  

In 2011 Arne and Ruth moved to Devils Lake to reside closer to family.  In November of 2021 they became residents at Eventide Heartland Care Center in Devils Lake, ND.

Arne is survived by his special Grandchild, Jay Garcia, step-children Nels (Meg) Nelson, Lori (Ron) Keller, Donna (Dale) Redinger, Kate (Bob Dewey) Johnson, Lisa (Scott) Hawley, Sara (Doug Yankton) Hesse, and Trent (Marvin Pierson) Hesse.  28 grandchildren, 35 precious great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.  Nephews and nieces, Duane (Corinne) Stadum, Robert (Dianne) Hanson, Irene Cudworth, Donna (Paul) Gutschmidt, Betty (John) Solwey, Linda Otheim, other dear nieces and nephews and cherished relatives. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth in December of 2021.  His parents, brothers, Rudolph Tollefson, Clarence Tollefson, sisters and brothers-in-law, Mabel (Orville) Stadum and Helen (Henry) Hanson. Grandson, Dustin Vallier and other relatives.


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Funeral Service

Monday, May 29, 2023

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