Mary Jane Tollefson, age 89, of Park River, ND passed away on Saturday, July 22, 2023 at the Good Samaritan Home in Park River, ND.
Mary Jane was born on December 4, 1933 in the farmhouse of the Modin farm between Olso and Alvarado, MN. She was the only daughter of Emil and Signe Modin Kalgard. She attended school at a country grade school located ½ mile from the Kalgard farm in Dundee Township, north of Park River, where she spent much of her early years. She attended Walsh County Agricultural School in Park River, ND. She was quite involved with extracurricular activities, such as sports and band. She played saxophone and piano. She later learned to play the organ.
Following high school graduation in 1951, she married Harold Flaten at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Park River. They both attended the Lutheran Bible Institute in California prior to returning to the Kalgard farm to work with Emil, prior to his retirement. Mary Jane and Harold had four children: Stephen, Mark, Janelle and Robert.
Mary Jane loved people and had various ways of connecting with the community: Homemakers Club, Bible study and prayer groups, attended various school activities that her children were involved in, and she sold Avon products. She was an avid gardener, a talented seamstress and china painter. She also worked as a CNA for several years at the Lutheran Sunset Nursing Home in Grafton, ND. Her husband Harold died in 1969. In 1971, she moved to Zion Harbor, a Christian Bible Camp in Minnesota, connected with Daystar Ministries. She married Duane Tollefson in 1974. They were blessed with a daughter named Deborah. Duane and Mary Jane moved off the farm and into Park River in 2008. They also lived in Finley with Mark and Carol Flaten for almost a year, starting in 2013. In 2014, they moved to the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Park River, where they received loving care in their final years.
Mary Jane is survived by her sons, Rev. Mark (Carol) Flaten, Finley, ND; Robert (Sandy) Flaten, Park River, ND, and her daughter; Deborah (Ross) Manni, Star Prairie, WI, son in law, Brian Bordon; grandchildren: Joy Solano, Anna Lassonde, Sarah McKay, Rachel Trottier; Stephanie Hawkins; Sean Misner; Britta & Jaxon Manni; 13 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Emil and Signe Kalgard, her husbands, Harold Flaten and Duane Tollefson, son, Stephen Flaten; daughter, Janelle Bordon, and granddaughter, Elisabeth Flaten.
Funeral Services will be on Saturday, July 29, 2023 at 10:30 AM at Victory Free Lutheran Church in Park River, ND. Visitation will be one hour before at the church. Interment will be at Edmore Cemetery, Edmore, ND.
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