Thomas “Jerry” Tollifson, 86, Westerville, Ohio

Published 9:58 am Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thomas Gerald “Jerry” Tollifson, 86, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, at St. Ann’s Hospital in Westerville, Ohio.

He was born Feb. 4, 1925, in Austin. He retired from the Ohio State Department of Education in the position of State Visual Arts Consultant for 28 years. He was proud to graduate from Albert Lea High School in 1943, from the University of Minnesota with his Bachelor of Arts degree and the Ohio State University with his Master of Arts and Ph.D. He was a much loved teacher through his career. His accomplishments and group affiliations included: Founder of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education. Jerry founded the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education in 1974 with Dr. Richard Shoup, Jerry had been a board member of the organization since 1974. Steering Committee Member for the Ohio Arts Education Assessment Project of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, Steering Committee Member for the Status of Arts Education in Ohio Schools Report of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education. Winner of the 2000 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio, presented by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. Board Member of the Ohio Art Education Association Founder of the Jerry Tollifson Art Criticism Open, Ohio Art Education Association. Winner of the 2010 WOSU ArtZine contest. State juror for the Ohio PTA Reflections program for children in grades K-12. Advisory Board of Directors’ member for the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition. Jerry was also presented with the Distinguished Service Within the Profession Award from the National Art Education Association in 1990, and the National Supervision/Administration Art Educator Award, from the National Art Education Association in 1995. Jerry was a member of the First Community Church and associated book club, Torch Club, Columbus Museum of Art, and OhioArt League. Jerry wrote many articles and books on Art Education throughout his career as well. He also served in the United States Army during World War II and contributed to several groups for veterans of the war. He was an avid Buckeye Fan.

Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, Virgil, Sr. and Lucille; Jeannine, his wife of 50 years; his sisters: Dorothy Walker and Virginia Stevens; niece, Ann Stevens; and brother-in-law, John Dill, Sr.

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He is survived by his brother, Virgil (Patricia) Tollifson, Jr.; his brothers-in-law: Harold Walker and William Stevens, Sr.; his sisters-in-law: Joyce Stumpf and Judy Dill; his nephews: Thomas (Kellie) Tollifson, Rick (Lori) Walker, William (Esther) Stevens, Jr., Bret (Sunny) Stumpf, Brian Stumpf and John Dill, Jr.; his nieces: Pamela (Ben) Gardner, Alison (Carl) Nelson and Kim Dill; his great-nephew, Seth Stumpf; his great-niece, Ashley (Frank) Lemak; and his great-great-nephew, Lex Lemak.

He will be missed greatly by his friends and family, and his ability to discuss anything and everything will be remembered with great love.

Funeral service were held at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The Rev. David Hett officiating. Interment at Riverside Cemetery. To share a favorite memory of Jerry, please visit