Roger Bruce Tollefson, 56
Roger Bruce Tollefson, 56, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Gering, Nebraska, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the Hampton Inn in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Burial will immediately follow at Gering West Lawn Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday March 13 from 1-7 p.m. with family present from 5-7 p.m. at Dugan-Kramer Funeral Home, Scottsbluff. Feel free to share your favorite memory and condolences at www.dignitymemorial.com.
Roger was the firstborn son to Garry & Sara (Sally) Tollefson, born on May 24, 1962 in Mitchell, South Dakota. He grew up in Mt. Vernon, South Dakota. At an early age he helped his dad on the family farm where he developed work ethics that followed him throughout his life. At the age of 18, he married the love of his life, Pamela Jean Swain, on September 20, 1980. Three years later they started a family. In 1983 their daughter Tasha was born and in 1985 their son Tyler was born. They were happily married for 38 years.
Roger’s first paying job was delivering newspapers, which developed into a lifelong career in the newspaper business for the last 37 years. He started out at the Daily Republic in Mitchell, South Dakota as Circulation District Manager. He worked briefly at the Argus-Leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and shortly thereafter he was promoted to Circulation Director at newspapers in St. George, Utah, Eureka California, and Oxnard, California. His Midwest roots and desire to be closer to family brought him to Scottsbluff, Nebraska in 1991, where he began working for the Star-Herald. He held positions as the Circulation Director, Director of Operations, General Manager, and most recently named Publisher. He has been the recipient of the Newspaper Association of Americas National Award of Excellence for Community Affairs and Multimedia Events as well as serving as a past member of the NAA’s Update Magazine Committee. For the last 6 years he served on the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, past co-chair for Leadership Scotts Bluff and has served on the Scottsbluff Recycling Coalition and Monument Pathways Boards.
Roger was passionate about staying physically active, whether it was playing tennis with friends from the Gering Tennis Club, golfing with family and friends, or running in the Nebraska State Games. He also enjoyed Fun Runs with his son, son-in-law and grandsons. He was an avid fisherman and found delight in taking his family camping and fishing. His grandchildren were the sparkle of his eye. He loved spending time with them whether it be a baseball game, basketball game, board or video game or a day at the lake fishing. He enjoyed playing a game of pinochle. If he won, he would never “rub it in” or “keep track”. Going to auctions was one of his favorite hobbies, collecting antique trucks and toys.
Roger was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses on May 6, 1978 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, serving faithfully for over 40 years. He was an encouragement to the congregation, serving as a ministerial servant and elder for many years. Because of his love for people, he volunteered countless hours in the ministry teaching Bible truths about Jehovah God and his promises for a world without pain and suffering. As a result, he impacted many lives in a positive way. His faithful example taught spiritual values to his children and many others. Studying the Bible with others brought him great joy and lasting friendships. Roger loved and was loved by all his family very much. He had a big heart and a unique personality and sense of humor with those who knew him best. He was humble and had a sense of pride in all his accomplishments.
Roger is survived by his wife Pamela; daughter Tasha (Jose) Gonzalez and their children Mauricio, Marquel, Malachi, Adric, Avah, and Isaac, of Gering, Nebraska; son Tyler (Amanda) Tollefson and their children Jace and Riley of Fargo, North Dakota; mother Sara (Sally) Tollefson of Mt. Vernon, South Dakota; two sisters Janette (Dan) Block of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Nancy (Don) Gehrke of Luverne, Minnesota; three brothers Richard (Teresa) of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Daniel of Sturgis, Michigan; Matthew (Diedre) of Syracuse, New York; father-inlaw and mother-in-law, George and Daphane Swain of Bagley, Minnesota; several nephews and nieces, uncles, aunts, cousins, brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws. He was proceeded in death by his father Garry Tollefson; grandparents Lyle and Doreen Tollefson and Frank and Wilma Morgan.