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1924 Florence Tovson 2018

Florence Tovson Mercer

October 14, 1924 — September 23, 2018

Florence Mathilda Killingstad was born in Detroit Lakes, MN on October 14, 1924 to Carl and Theoline “Tillie” Mathilda (Mathias) Killingstad, the 9th of 12 children.  Florence is the last of her siblings to leave this world.  She grew up in Detroit Lakes, MN and often talked about her dad making home brew in the basement and walking them to school at Washington School.  She met Donald Tovson at a dance in 1943. They married on June 3, 1944 and settled out next to his parents farm near Richwood Lutheran Church.  There, they farmed and raised their family until they bought their own farm adjacent to his parents.  They also had the gas station in Callaway for several years. She attended Richwood Lutheran Church where all her children were baptized and confirmed. Florence was a beautiful seamstress, making and repairing fancy clothes and wedding dresses for many of her friends and neighbors during the time she was raising her family.  She loved to knit and sew and she babysat for several neighborhood children.  Florence never had her driver’s license so her life pretty much revolved around her family and life on the farm where there was always plenty of work to do.  Rather than watch TV, we could listen in on the neighbors drama on the party phone line.  In 1982, she and Donnie purchased a house in town and she was very excited to be back in the “city life”.  It was only a couple of months after moving to town that Donald passed away.  Florence put her seamstress skills to work at Savoie Laundry for several years until her retirement.  During this time, she got to know a handsome widower named Walter Mercer and they quickly fell in love and married on December 16, 1984. Together, they attended church at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Detroit Lakes. He doted on her and they split their time between their home in Arkansas and his home near Richwood.  They thoroughly enjoyed retirement together and their lives included traveling, cutting wood and spending time with their children and grandchildren.  Walter passed away in 1995.   Florence has been asking Jesus to take her home for several years and she left her earthy body on September 23, 2018 under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.  In addition to Donald and Walter, Florence goes to heaven to join her parents, Carl and Tillie Killingstad, her children, James Tovson, Diane Delaney & Debra Tovson, her brothers Carl, James, William “Ole”, and Harold “Bill” Killingstad, her sisters Clara Helmot, Inga Kraemer, Julia “Dido” Cooper, Helen Olson, Doris Dittman, Grace Mickelson and Delores Haugrud as well as her beloved great grandson, Noah Williams.   She is survived by her children Sandy (Dale) Williams of Pelican Rapids, Sharon Keen of Detroit Lakes, Jerry (Starla) Tovson of Westbury and Steve (Debbie) Tovson of Audubon, Brother-in-Law Arlan Haugrud of Pelican Rapids, 14 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and 8 great great grandchildren as well as numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. Visitation will be at 10 AM on Friday September 28th followed by a prayer service at 11.  Internment to follow at Richwood Lutheran Church cemetery. 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Florence Tovson Mercer, please visit our flower store.

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