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Elizabeth Tollefson

February 22, 2011

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    Elizabeth Alvina Sophia Duckwitz Tollefson, 96, passed away on February 22, 2011 at St. Josephs Hospital, Dickinson, ND. Funeral/Memorial Services will be held on May 13, 2011, 2:00 CDT at the United Church of Christ, Hebron, ND with burial of both Elizabeth and Mark Tollefson to follow in the UCC Cemetery at Hebron. Elizabeth was born April 17, 1914 the daughter of Gustav and Lena (Oes) Duckwitz of Hebron, North Dakota. She was raised in Farmers Valley, northwest of Hebron and was educated in Farmers Valley School #5, rural Hebron. Elizabeth was confirmed in the St. Johns E & R Church of Hebron, ND and many times rode horseback the 6 miles to Confirmation School on Saturday mornings. After school she remained on the Duckwitz family farm to help her parents as her mother was ill. On October 4, 1940, Elizabeth married Mark Tollefson at the parsonage of the St Johns E & R Church in Hebron, ND. They spent their earlier married years on the Tollefson farm, Farmers Valley, Stark County, in the Hebron area. Their relationship was one of best friends and married partners that spanned 70 years. She was his beautiful, auburn haired, wife, fondly called ?Bunny?. Together, they raised cattle, sheep, hogs and chickens on the farm as well as diversified crops of wheat, corn, oats, barley and alfalfa. Elizabeth gardened and canned the produce. She enjoyed sewing, crocheting and embroidery during snowbound winter days. During the years on the farm she was a member of the Happy Homemakers Club of the Hebron area and a member of the St Johns Evangelical and Reformed Church of Hebron. In 1959 Mark took a job in the Dickinson area and they moved from the farm to Hebron. In 1963 they moved to Dickinson where they resided until early 2010 when they both needed nursing care and moved from their home. Elizabeth then resided at St. Luke?s Nursing Home in Dickinson. During the years that they lived in Dickinson, Elizabeth was active in pursuing her many interests. Her mother was a seamstress in Austria before coming to the USA and she taught Elizabeth her trade in sewing. To that end, she made many, many clothing items for family members as well as custom orders for others for wedding parties and special occasions. She especially enjoyed doing sewing projects for her three daughters, Maureen Beth, Cheryl Rae and Glenda Sue. For a time she was a member of the First Congregational Church of Dickinson, ND and a member of their Ladies Guild and the Church Quilters Guild as well. Quilting was a passion of hers that she pursued in a big way. Mark would help her with designing special patterns and she always had several ?projects? going at a time. She traveled to quilt shows with her friends from the Dickinson Quilters Guild. Elizabeth was an absolutely adored and cherished mother who took an interest in and cared for everyone, serving her measures of understanding, common sense wisdom and good home cooked food. She nurtured five generations of family, caring for her parents, her brothers and sisters, her own children, her many nephews and nieces, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. There were plenty of friends and neighbors tucked in along the way to. Her maternal instincts also spread over to her love of animals. Along with Mark they always had a house dog and cat but she loved many other kinds as well and was always willing to care for a ?stray?. Her love of nature ran the gambit from gardening and growing beautiful flowers to watching and feeding birds and identifying their species. She had a very ambitious nature so was always busy and enjoyed spending time outdoors, helping Mark with his many projects as well as other family members with their remodeling, repairing, and projects where she could sew curtains, upholster furniture, and generally supervise. Elizabeth enjoyed travel and went to California, Mexico, Las Vegas, and more with Glenda and Lee, to Missouri with Mark and Maureen to attend the World Sheep Festival and on to Hannibal, Missouri where they took a steamboat dinner trip on the ?Mark Twain? down the Mississippi River. She also took numerous trips with Mark, Cheryl and Glenda to Colorado, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. Elizabeth is survived by her daughters, Maureen (Marlin) Neidhardt, Crawford, Nebraska, Cheryl (Doug Pope) Tollefson, Dickinson and Bowman, ND, Glenda (Lee) Talkington, South Heart, ND, two grandchildren, Clinton (Pam) Neidhardt, Hebron, ND, and Colton Neidhardt, Omaha, NE and two great grandchildren, Wyatt and Jessica Neidhardt, Hebron, ND, her sister, Ella Gerbig of Hawks Point, Dickinson, ND and many nephews and nieces from the Duckwitz, Schlenvogt and Gerbig families. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Mark Tollefson, who passed away on November 3, 2010, three brothers, Arnold, Robert and Albright Duckwitz, and one sister, Meta Schlenvogt. “Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; a mother’s secret hope outlives them all.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes


    Phone: 866-483-7900
    Fax: 701-483-7901
    2067 1st Street West
    Dickinson, ND 58601