Lower Columbia College | R. M. Tollefson

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R. M. "Tolly" Tollefson, founder of Tollycraft Corporation

R. M. TollefsonA $240,000 gift to the Lower Columbia College Foundation will help make life better for local residents, a focus of the donor during his many years as a Kelso employer.

The gift from the estate of R.M.“Tolly” Tollefson, who died in May 2011 at the age of 100, can be used by the Foundation for scholarships, instructional program development and support, equipment purchases and other projects.

He moved to Kelso in the 1940s and used insurance money from a lumber business destroyed by fire to turn his hobby of building custom boats into a new business. Over 35 years, Tollycraft Corporation grew to employ 260 people and gained a reputation for producing the “Cadillac of yachts.”

His gift will continue to give back to the community that was his home by helping local residents prepare for careers that benefit their families and our local economy.