Prairie du Chien, WI
Tollie E. Simonson, age 93 of Eastman, WI passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 surrounded by his wife and family at Gundersen Hospital in LaCrosse, WI. Tollie was born February 1, 1927, in Vernon Co., WI, the son of Tollie and Mabel (Hatland) Simonson. In 1947, he was stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA, with the U.S. Army. After his service, he studied cheese making and became a licensed cheesemaker and buttermaker. On May 27, 1950, Tollie married Elaine Tainter, his wife of 69 years. During his cheesemaking years, he enjoyed entering cheese in local fairs, including the Wisconsin State Fair. For twelve years, he drove school bus for the Prairie du Chien School District. Tollie dearly loved his grandchildren and watched many ballgames, school programs, and high school and college graduations. Gardening and woodworking were his hobbies. Elaine and Tollie both enjoyed traveling to Colorado, the National Parks and seeing different sites around the country. A highlight for Tollie and son, Duane was attending a Green Bay Packer game at Lambeau Field on Dec. 26, 1993, the game of the first “Lambeau Leap.” Tollie is survived by his loving wife, Elaine, and their three children, Carolyn (Patrick) Gaherty of Parker, CO, Shane (Leigh) of Zurich, Switzerland, Craig (Jenni) of Denver, CO, and their children, Alaine and Levi; Kelly Rayburn of Parker, CO and her daughters, Lillian and Ainsley; Duane (Ceil) of Richland Center, WI, and their son, Ryan of Brainerd, MN; Donna (Stephen) Polodna of Highlands Ranch, CO, and their daughters, Kati and Tessa, also of Highlands Ranch, CO; as well as many special nieces and nephews. Tollie was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, four brothers, a niece and two nephews.
Funeral services will be Friday, February 28, 2020 at 1:30 PM at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Pastor Barbara Bruneau officiating with interment in the Evergreen Cemetery both in Prairie du Chien. Military Honors will be accorded by the Prairie du Chien Honor Guard. Friends may call at the church on Friday from 12:30 PM until the time of service. Elaine and family wish to extend their great appreciation to the doctors and caring nurses at the Gundersen Hospital. The Garrity Funeral Home of Prairie du Chien is assisting the family. www.garrityfuneralhome.com
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