Elmer M. Tollgaard


Elmer “Smokey” Maynard Tollgaard passed away last July 29, 2021 in La Mesa, CA at the age of 93.  
Elmer was born to Henry and Frieda Tollgaard on March 18, 1928 in Ward, SD.  He was the youngest of three children, with an older brother Raymond and sister Marvelyn.  He attended school in Ward and high school in Flandreau where he enjoyed and participated in football, track and baseball.  He went on to South Dakota State where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Chemistry.
He enlisted in the Navy in 1946, then met and married Shirley Mitchell in 1950, starting Flight School that same year in Pensacola, FL.  Three children were soon to follow, Lynn, Kim and Eric.
His military service as a pilot took him to the Korean Campaign twice while flying in over 130 missions as a member of the VF-111 and earning him 5 air medals in the process.  He then moved on to two tours in the Mediterranean in the late 50’s.  The Navy also provided him a chance to attend Post Graduate School and receive a BS degree in Engineering in 1962.
As a Navy family, they were stationed in several states including, Florida, Hawaii, California, and New Mexico before he retired from service in 1970 at the age of 42.  He moved the family back to California, buying a home and setting down roots in La Mesa.  His “retirement years” were filled with travel by trailer or motor home, traveling across much of the U.S., and golfing at every conceivable opportunity (both he and wife Shirley enjoyed the game), and participating with friends in charitable causes be it the Elks Club, Optimist, or with his beloved VFW and American Legion buddies at his favorite watering hole “the Ship.”
He is proceeded in death by his wife Shirley and eldest daughter Lynn.
 He is survived by his children, daughter Kim and son Eric.  He was blessed with six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.  
His final resting place is Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.

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