Dr. Vern G. Tolstedt, 87 Helena, MT
After a short illness Vern passed away on June 13th 2019. He is preceded in death by parents Glen and Elvina Tolstedt, Son Brett and Niece Molly.
Vern shared a beautiful love story with his beloved wife of 65 years Leona. His wonderful storytelling and playful good humor will be missed by Family: son Brian Tolstedt and wife Judy Doerr. Daughter Julie and fiancé Jeffrey Allan. Grandson Nicholas Tolstedt. Brother Grandon Tolstedt and his wife Kay. Betsy Tolstedt, Mark Tolstedt, Ross Tolstedt, Kilmer McCully , Marilyn McCully, Terry Edwards, Clark Edwards and Lexia Doerr.
Vern was born in Columbus, Nebraska, The Glen Tolstedt family moved to Herried, SD in the early 1935 where the family took over farming the Litwenenco homestead. He attended South Dakota State University and graduated from Northwestern University Medical School. Internship and Residency in his specialty of Urology followed in Chicago and Seattle. During this time Vern served our country in the United States Air Force as a Surgeon.
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In 1964 he moved his family with Leona to Helena, MT and became the first Urologist in the community of Helena, MT. During his time in Helena Vern served as Chief of Staff and Board member of St Peter’s Hospital, Shodair Children’s Hospital, St John’s Hospital, Lewis and Clark Medical society, Deacon at Plymouth Congregational Church, and Boy Scout Leader. He cared greatly for the Helena community donating time to the arts. Vern cared for Helena in less public way as his office door was open to many in crisis and his wisdom and warmth were sought by many over the years when loving guidance was the needed prescription.
Life with Vern was intense and vivid. Vern’s life was blessed with remarkable outdoor adventure including backcountry hiking trips and offshore sailing the Pacific and Atlantic oceans nearly from Artic Circle to Equator with his wife Lee on his beloved sailboat “Shaman”. He embraced many hobbies and was remarkably creative. His original action adventure movie “The Mothball Caper” (1975) produced in super 8 is still an often requested showing by friends from the era. He was a determined and gifted athlete pitching for a Farm club in college; he was determined to maintain his fitness riding over 2K miles on a touring bike every year into his 80’s. He studied under Sam Maloof learning to build museum quality furniture. Best of all for those that love him, Vern was a craftsman storyteller and time spent with him was always a chance to see the world through the eyes of an artist who cared deeply for people and wanted them to experience the beauty he saw in the world.
Vern’s family will receive friends from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave. in Helena. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Vern’s name are suggested to the Helena Symphony, 2 N Last Chance Gulch Suite 1 Helena, MT 59601. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Vern.