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Pastor C.A. Tollefson

Jul 31, 2021

July 21, 1922-July 15, 2021

Pastor C.A. Tollefson

died July 15, 2021 in Far-

go, ND.

He was born July 21,

1922, to George and Hul-

da (Anderson) Tollefson

in Plaza, ND. On the fami-

ly farm, Carrol took on

many responsibilities

after his dad’s death when

Carrol was only 16 years

old. Thus began his life-

long love of the land and

its fruit. He graduated

from Concordia College in

1950, remaining a loyal

Cobber all his life. He

then enrolled in Luther

Seminary, St. Paul, MN,

where he graduated in

May 1953. During his stu-

dies at Luther Seminary,

he was sent to Concordia

Lutheran Church,

northeast Minneapolis,

where he met a young

widow named Helen

Schansberg Eggan. They

married August 9, 1952,

and he became a father to

10-year-old Judy. One

summer he worked for the

Pillsbury Co. loading box-

cars, while Helen had al-

ready worked at General

Mills for 7 years. This be-

gan the ongoing war

between Betty Crocker

and the Pillsbury Dough


He accepted his first

call to a four-point parish

in Fillmore, ND. There, he

and Helen were blessed

with the birth of three

daughters. Helen and Car-

rol and family moved to a

three-point parish in

Enderlin, ND in August

1958. All four daughters

graduated from Enderlin

High School. Here, Carrol

found wonderful oppor-

tunities to serve such as

Kiwanis, city council, and

the board of Southeast

Mental Health Services.

As a pastor, he was al-

ways interested in

people’s spiritual journey

along with emotional and

mental health issues.

Through the generosity

of the people of Enderlin,

Carrol and Helen traveled

to Norway to visit their

foreign exchange student,

Gro Haaverson and her

family, as well as visiting

their ancestral homes.

In the fall of 1975, Car-

rol accepted a call to First

Lutheran Church, Fargo,

as visitation pastor. In this

role, he was privileged to

address the needs of

senior citizens, those hos-

pitalized, homebound, or

in nursing facilities. He

retired from First Luth-

eran in August of 1987.

In Fargo, Carrol once

again embraced a life of

ministry through involve-

ment in teaching the 55

Alive driving program

through AARP, serving on

the board of both

Nokomis and Bethany,

serving as a voting judge

at many elections, donat-

ing blood, and volunteer-

ing thousands of hours at

Merit Care Hospital.

There he was known as

“the popcorn man!”

Over the years, Carrol

was honored to baptize

many babies, perform

numerous weddings, con-

firm several folks, sit by

bedsides of the sick, offer

communion to everyone,

and be the calm voice as a

loved one was laid to rest.

He truly enjoyed every as-

pect of a pastor’s life.

While in Fargo, Carrol

and Helen were fortunate

enough to attend events

involving their grandchil-

dren and

great-grandchildren, and

numerous activities with

their four daughters. In re-

tirement, Carrol served as

interim pastor at Oster-

dalen Lutheran Church,

Argusville, until that

church was closed. After

Helen passed away in

February 2010, Carrol

continued to volunteer at

MeritCare Hospital. Due

to health reasons, he

moved to Bethany Retire-

ment Home where he died

on July 15, 2021.

He is preceded in death

by: his parents, brothers

Elmer and Art, sisters Gla-

dys, Alice and Clarice; his

wife Helen, grand-

daughters, Melissa and

Andresa Carlson.

He is survived by: his

daughters, Judy Coughlin,

Mary (Bob) Stenson, Becki

Tollefson, all Fargo, and

Martha Tollefson, Tucson,

AZ; grandchildren, Mark

Coughlin, Fargo, Julie

(Donnie) Becker, Wash-

burn, Janelle (Lance)

Kistner, Sabin, MN, Shan-

na (Osvaldo) de la Torre,

Brooklyn Center, MN, and

Elisa (Yoran) Marchione,

Heber City, UT. He was a

loving great-grandfather to

Ava Kistner and Kiera


His service was Thurs-

day, July 22, 2021, at First

Lutheran Church, Fargo.

Carrol’s requests were

memorials to Luther Sem-

inary, St. Paul, MN or

Concordia College, Moor-

head, MN.

Blessed be the memory

of Carrol Tollefson.

“Whether we live or

whether we die, we are

the Lord’s”.

Memories and con-

dolences may be shared

online by visiting



Arrangements by

Hanson-Runsvold Funeral

Home-Fargo, ND.

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