The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Robert Lee 'Tolly' Tollefson


December 18, 2018

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Robert Lee 'Tolly' Tollefson, 65, died Dec. 9, 2018.

Bob was born Dec. 1, 1953, in Ironwood, Mich., son of the late Harold and Jessica (Lee) Tollefson. He attended L.L. Wright High School, graduating in 1972, and attended Gogebic Community College, where he received an Associate Degree in Business in 1974.

In 1976-77, he attended Brown Institute in Minneapolis, Minn., and worked at KDAN Radio in 1977-78. He moved to Denver, Colo., in August of 1978, where he lived for many years. He attended Metropolitan State University of Denver, graduating in 1992 with a Bachelor's Degree, majoring in technical communications with a minor in journalism. During this time, he also worked in the library/media center at the Emily Griffith Opportunity School (now the Emily Griffith Technical College), the first adult education school in the United States, founded in 1916.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, he was a member of the Rocky Mountaineers Motorcycle Club. Formed in 1968, it is Colorado's oldest gay organization. He served as road captain, planning poker runs, mountain rides and other events, as well as putting on several amateur comedy shows during the club's annual Fourth of July three-day motorcycle camp-out in the Rocky Mountains.

In the early 1990s, Bob traveled to Europe and fell in love with Amsterdam and the Dutch culture and people. After a few years of planning, he finally took the plunge, living there part-time at first, then full-time. He landed a job with a nonprofit organization that restored vintage canal boats, and giving canal tours to visitors of Amsterdam. People would often joke that Bob knew the canals better than most Amsterdammers.

He was also employed by Boom Chicago, an improv comedy club in Amsterdam, as a sound and video technician. While in Amsterdam, he was fortunate to make lots of wonderful friends from Holland, as well as from all over the world. In 2005, he moved back to the U.S., residing in Savannah, Georgia.

Bob married his longtime companion, Richard Snyder, on March 20, 2014, their 25th anniversary together. His is also survived by a first cousin, Gordon Johnson, and his wife, Linda, of Land O'Lakes, Wis., as well as many, many dear friends.

Cremation will take place, and burial will be at the Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Neb., after a brief service. Since Bob's friends are spread all over the world, no other services are planned.


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