Cover photo for Suzanne Tolman's Obituary
Suzanne Tolman Profile Photo
1931 Suzanne 2024

Suzanne Tolman

November 8, 1931 — January 2, 2024

Suzanne Nelson Tolman, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

Suzanne Nelson Tolman, retired School Psychologist, Independent School District #535, Rochester, Minnesota, was born in Omaha, Nebraska on November 8, 1931. The daughter of Lottie Kerns Nelson and Raymond Leroy Nelson, she attended Omaha North High School, Omaha, Nebraska, played piano (Mendelssohm piano concerto with the concert orchestra her senior year).

In 1948, she enrolled in Omaha University college of Arts and Science. She was a member of the concert and marching bands (clarinet), orchestra (cello) and the Chi Omega Sorority. She was active in many campus organizations, selected to the University of Omaha Senior Women's Honorary (Waokiya Society) and graduated in three years with a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction in Spanish in 1951. In 1951, she was awarded a Research Assistant position at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska and received the degree of Master of Arts in 1952.

In September of 1952, she began a teaching career with the Omaha Public Schools. The first year as a seventh grade teacher then as a counselor and instructor in History and English at South High School, Omaha, Nebraska. At this time, she continued her graduate education at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, receiving the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1957. Her major field of interest was Educational Psychology (school psychology and test measurements).

Suzanne married Dr. Dan E. Tolman on June 8, 1957. The couple lived in Omaha, Nebraska, Rochester, Minnesota, Tampa, Florida, and Collinsville, Illinois during his tour of duty with the United States Air Force (1957 -1965). During this time, she taught psychology at the University of Omaha, Nebraska, worked in the Department of Social Services at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota and taught psychology at the University of Tampa, Florida. Upon returning to Rochester, Minnesota in 1965, she began her career as a School Psychologist with the Rochester Public Schools, where she was employed until her retirement in June of 1994.

Dr. Tolman was certified as a Psychologist by the Minnesota Board of Psychologists in 1968 and certified as a licensed Psychologist by the State of Minnesota Department of Education in 1969. She was a member the American Psychological Association, the Minnesota Psychological Association, the Minnesota School Psychologist, Rochester Education Association, Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Delta Kappa, Alpha Delta Kappa (professional education fraternity), Psi Chi (psychology honorary fraternity), American Association of University Women, Zumbro Dental Auxilliary, and the Rochester Area Retired Educators. She was listed in Personalities of the West and Midwest 1972, Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans, American Biographical Institiute, Vol. II, 1977. The Who's Who of American Women, 10th Edition 1977-1978, and Who's Who in the World, 7th Edition, 1984-1985.

Dr. Tolman has been involved in many Rochester community activities and organizations. She was a crew leader in the taking of the U.S. census of 1960, a member of the Rochester Symphony Conductor's Jefferson Parents Teachers Association 1966-1968, Board of Directors and Secretary Family Consultation Center 1970-1976, member Board of Directors Olmsted County (MN) Council of Coordinated Child Care 1971-1975, and president 1973-1975, member Board of Directors Olmsted County (MN) Association of Mental Health 1974-1975, member of Rochester Civic Music Guild 1978-1983 and president 1981-1982, Presbyterian Sunday School education teacher 1973-1974, Presbyterian-Methodist Hospital Chaplaincy Committee 1980-1983, and member Rochester Area Retired Educators since 1994 and president 1999-2000. In August of 1994, Dr. Tolman received the Department of the Army Certificate of Appreciation "for her own unselfish, faithful support and understanding that helped make possible her husband's lasting contribution to the Nation".

Doctors Suzanne and Dan Tolman have a daughter, Kimberly Tolman (Gary Debele) and one granddaughter, Madeleine Debele.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 am on Saturday, Janury 13, 2024 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes with visitation one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery in Rochester.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Tolman family. To share a special memory or condolence, please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Suzanne Tolman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, January 13, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN 55901

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 13, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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