Courtney Albert Tommeraasen

Born: Sat., Jan. 7, 1933
Died: Sat., Jun. 30, 2012


4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Mon., Jul. 02, 2012
Location: Christ Lutheran Church

Funeral Service

10:30 AM Tue., Jul. 03, 2012
Location: Christ Lutheran Church

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In Loving Memory Of

Courtney Albert Tommeraasen

Courtney (Court) Albert Tommeraasen was born to Albert and Mildred Moscow Tommeraasen on January 7, 1933 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Court grew up in Minneapolis with his family, and attended Washburn High School, graduating in 1950.  Following high school, Court attended the University of Minnesota as an Education Major in English and as a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.  He graduated from the U of MN in 1955 and accepted a job offer at Slayton High School to teach English and Speech.  Court  obtained his Master of Arts degree in Speech Communications in 1973.  Later, Court obtained a degree in Library Science at Mankato State University.

Throughout his teaching career at Slayton High School, Court directed plays, musicals, and one-act plays.  He loved to engage and challenge his students, encouraging them to grow as individuals.  Court was also a Minnesota Teacher of the Year Finalist in 1971, and received the Outstanding Educator Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota the following year.  In 1966-1967, Court became a Fulbright Scholar as an exchange teacher to Norway, teaching American literature to senior high school students.  Court retired from teaching, after 40 years, in 1995.

Court married Karen (Pierson) Tommeraasen on February 17, 1962.  They celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2012.  Court and Karen had two children, Erik Bjorn Tommeraasen (deceased 2008) and Karna Inger Tommeraasen (Phoenix, Arizona), whom they raised in Slayton.

Court was an active member of Christ Lutheran Church in Slayton.  He was a member of the choir, church council, and Southwest Minnesota ELCA Synod Candidacy Committee.  He had been President of the congregation at the time of his passing.  Court was also a member of Slayton’s chapter of Kiwanis, where he had been President and Vice President in past years.

Court was a lover and appreciator of reading, music, golf, gardening, theatre and the arts.  Court was also a member of the Slayton Alcoholics Anonymous group, served as a lay minister/pulpit supply, and volunteered as a hospital chaplain at Murray County Medical Center.  Court was a unique man who taught others even after retiring from Slayton High School.  He was a mentor to many and loved to help those in need.

Court passed away on Saturday, June 30, 2012 with his loving family at his side, at Our House hospice home in Slayton after suffering from a stroke.   He is survived by his wife, Karen (Pierson) Tommeraasen, his daughter, Karna Tommeraasen (Phoenix, Arizona); two grandsons, Caleb Ruppert and his wife, Emily (Seattle, WA) and Craig Tommeraasen (Granite Falls, MN).  He also has a brother, Merle Tommeraasen (Bloomington, MN).

Court is preceded in death by his beloved son, Erik Tommeraasen; sister, Millie Tommeraasen Johnson; parents, Albert and Mildred (Moscow) Tommeraasen; niece, Susan Engebretson.

Celebration of Life Service will be led by Pastor Ted Kunze at Christ Lutheran Church in Slayton, Minnesota on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.  Internment will be held at Slayton Memorial Gardens, Slayton, MN.

Pallbearers include Tom Andrews, Orv Greime, Earl Halverson, Jon Hoyme, Jerry Klein, Jake Konkol, Wally Scott, Clayton Torbert and Steve Willers.  
Special Music by Paul Engebretson and Jim Smith; Nikki Cheskie and Heidi Winter.  The organist is Pat Onken.

Visitation will be on Monday, July 2, 2012 at Christ Lutheran Church in Slayton from 4-7 p.m and also one hour prior to the services at the church on Tuesday.  

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Kathy Huerkamp Winter
   Posted Sun July 01, 2012
My sympathy to the family. I have many great memories of a wonderful teacher!

Carol Erpelding
   Posted Sun July 01, 2012
To Karen and all of the family and friends of Mr Tommeraasen,
Please accept my sincere sympathy at this time of loss. Court was a wonderful man and an exceptional educator. He may have retired from teaching but he never retired from educating people as he touched each one he met making them feel special. He will be missed so much by those who knew him and his memory and lessons will be remembered by all of us. God Bless and keep you as you go on just as he would have wanted.

Linda Tobias
   Posted Sun July 01, 2012
Karen and Family: You have my sympathy in the loss of Court. I enjoyed visiting with him at the wellness center. He had a special way of caring about others. I asked him about my grandson one day and he was always checking back with me to see how he was doing. He had a very caring spirit about him for sure. The community had the chance to experience Court in many ways from his pulpit supply, to Kiwanis, to CLC, he was unique in what he was able to share with others. May you be able to trust in the Lord that Court is in a much better place with no more effects of the stroke. Life will definately be different for you but remember the good times and the trips you were able to experience together. Time is a great healer. RIP Court good and faithful servent.

Tina Bengtson
   Posted Sun July 01, 2012
When I started teaching grade school in Slayton in 1990, Court was one of the people that I remember who made me feel so welcome here. He always had time to visit and answer my questions. We shared a love of books and drama. I am so sorry for your loss.

Lynette Carlson
   Posted Mon July 02, 2012
To Karen and family,

I would like to extend to you my deepest condolences in your loss of your husband, father and grandfather and he will be greatly missed by all of us who he had showed kindness and compassion for.

I cannot imagine where my life would be now if Court had not taken the time to teach me and help me to reach my fullest potential in my life. Court was the one who recognized that I too had a drinking problem and had introduced me to Alcoholics Anonymous many years. And thanks to him I have been sober for 27 1/2 years and for I will always be grateful to him for that.

Each time when i would come back to Slayton for a visit, I would always call him and look forward in sharing with him what was going on in my life in Austin. And also he would would extend to me some of his wisdom and thoughtfulness as well.

You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers throughout this time of grieving. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and hold you in his arms to comfort you during this sad time!!

Your friend Always,

Lynett Carlson

Joan Foley Wright
   Posted Mon July 02, 2012
Mr. Tommeraasen was my favorite teacher. He taught me English in 1969. I remember him using Simon and Garfunkel for part of our poetry section. He brought in a stereo and we all loved it and thought he was "cool". May God be with his family and comfort them.

Tim & Jennifer Neyens
   Posted Mon July 02, 2012
We were so saddened to hear of Court''s passing. You have our deepest sympathy. God Bless - Tim, Jennifer, Shelby & Landon Neyens

Shana and Jason Leach
   Posted Mon July 02, 2012
We are so sorry for your loss. We are thinking of you and your extended family today, tomorrow, and always. Much Love.

Mitzi Ruiz-Moreno
   Posted Mon July 02, 2012
My sincere sympathy for your loss. May the Love and Grace of Our Lord carry you and your family during this difficult time. Continued prayers for strength, peace, and comfort. In Him, Mitzi Ruiz-Moreno

Dave Engebretson
   Posted Mon July 02, 2012
I always looked forward to judging speech tournaments with Courtney. He made me feel welcome and our chats about Slayton, theater, college and life were pleasant and lively. It isn't everyday a student becomes a colleague and a pal. He will be remembered fondly ,not only for his successes but his courageous struggles.

Bruce Baus
   Posted Mon July 02, 2012
I was fortunate to golf with Court when he and Karen would come to Az to see Karna. I always had a great time and will miss him.

I would like to share a couple of Court stories that always make me smile.

This year, while riding to the course with him, he asked if I would go to the golf shop and give him my honest opinion on a hat he wanted to buy. He explained that he wanted a man’s opinion. I said, “Of course,” knowing that I would most likely approve of any hat he wanted to buy. So he tried on the hat and it actually looked great and fit him well. He then tried on a second “bucket-style” hat he had been eyeing and asked for my thoughts. After doing a double take I told him, “You are buying the first hat Court, this one you are wearing looks like something from Cat in the Hat and I will not let you walk out of the golf shop with that hat!” He then gave me that smile and said, “That is exactly why I brought you Bruce, thanks.” Thank you Court.

I was lucky enough to speak with Court by phone a few weeks ago. It was the night of the Cubs vs Twins game and Karna called me so he could say hi. After giving me the business about my beloved Cubs, I reminded him that I had recently regripped a couple of his golf clubs, clubs that he was hitting very well I pointed out. He then changed his tune and told me, "Go Cubbies." I was convinced he would be pulling for my loveable losers until Karna told me he was snickering when he said that. As she hung up I heard him in the background saying "Go Twins." Thanks again Court!

To Karen, Karna, and the Tommerassen family, Staci and I send our thoughts and prayers to you.

Ann Foley Cortez
   Posted Mon July 02, 2012
Mr. Tommeraasen taught me English and Speech in 1968, and was one of my favorite teachers. His classes were always interesting and challenging; and he opened my mind to so many new things. He truly had a gift for teaching and touched many lives. My condolences and prayers to his family.

Denise (Buschena) Gehrke
   Posted Tue July 03, 2012
I always had so much respect for Mr. Tommeraasen, (he can never be called Court by me) not only as a teacher, but as someone that could acknowledge alcoholism and take it head on, He was never to proud to admit his faults and work to overcome them. He would extend a hand to whoever needed him, in any way possible, whether it be education or life. God has a special place for him in heaven and welcomed him with open arms. Thinking of his family at this difficult time, but you will be reunited, one day, with him.

Chuck Swan
   Posted Tue July 03, 2012
Mr. Tommeraasen was my favorite Slayton HS teacher. I was very fortunate to have him for speech class in my 67-68 senior year. He was truly an outstanding educator with a unique brand of mentoring and teaching. He helped me gain much needed confidence in myself before I entered college. Courtney Tommeraasen was a man of enormous gifts and talents. My sincere condolences to the Tommeraasen family.

Carol Swanson Corwin
   Posted Tue July 03, 2012
I can't think of my years in Slayton High without remembering teachers and theater/class advisors. We were so lucky to have been blessed with the quality of teachers we had. May God bless Mr. Tommeraasen's family. You have my sympathy.

Pat Edelman
   Posted Tue July 03, 2012
Tommeraasen family,
I apologize for the lateness of this expression of my deepest sympathy. Living out of town just a few miles and not seeing anyone in town for about a week, I just found out about Court. He was one of the most mellow and generally happy people I've ever known. I feel so bad not having found out earlier. I'm glad family was with him. He really was a very good man to all he met. He was one of the first to greet and welcome to the staff here in 1979. He will be missed but I'm sure there is a very special place for men like him in heaven.

Pat Edelman

Mark Thomson
   Posted Sun July 08, 2012
Just wish the Tommeraasen family all the best. Had the good luck to have spent one of my study halls instead helping in the library with Mr. Tommeraasen Senior year. Enjoyed the time spent and it contributed to ending up a lifelong fan of books. God bless-

Mark, Michele, Reghan, Osta, and Kenzie

Jack Hook
   Posted Tue July 10, 2012
Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. I fondly remember our days living at Pearl Meyers Home at the start of our teaching careers at Slayton Public School and eating at Palmer Peterson''s Bar under the hotel. Gene Erickson, Court and I enjoyed listening to "Squaws along the Yukon!"
Jack Hook

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