John Tonnsen

John Tonnsen

John J. Tonnsen Jr. died in a tragic car accident on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 in Colorado.  An informal vigil will be held at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary on Monday, May 18 at 7:00 pm.  Funeral services will be held at St. Thomas Catholic Church on Tuesday, May 19 at 10:00 am.  Burial will take place after the service at Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park.

John was born in St. Louis, MO on Nov. 19, 1938 to John “Jack” and Olive (Ahearn) Tonnsen.  He had one brother Tom.  John graduated from St. Louis University, completed law school at University of Montana, and earned a Master’s in Geology from Montana State.

John had a storied career working with Shell Oil, Montana Power, General Hydrocarbons, NARCO, Interenergy, KOA, PRE Resources, and of course the St. Louis Zoo.  His job titles included geologist, landman, law clerk, general counsel, fisherman, zoo vendor, president, coach, and to most of his friends, entertainer. He was a member of St Thomas Catholic Church in Billings and Light of the World in Littleton, CO. He was active in many organizations and admired by all.

John married Loretta “Lori” Lutz on July 1, 1972. He is survived by his wife Lori; his son Joe, wife Julie, and grandson Rhys; and his son Rob and granddaughters Olivine and Mica.  He will be remembered for the love of his family and many many friends and associates.

Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

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