Herb Tousley III, a well-known professor who focused on commercial real estate, died last Thursday. He was 67.
Tousley was a professor and director of The Real Estate program and The Shenehon Center for Real Estate in the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas.
“It’s very shocking, it was not expected,” said Michael Garrison, associate dean for the Opus College of Business. “It’s going to be a big loss around here … I’m very sad for his family, his wife Jill, and the children.”
Tousley was tapped as the director of the Shenehon Center in 2009. “I think I chaired the search committee that hired him,” recalled Garrison. “He had taught for us as an adjunct since 2003.”
Tousley brought commercial real estate experience and connections to St. Thomas. Before being hired to lead the Shenehon Center, he had served as senior vice president with Coldwell Banker Commercial Griffin Cos. in Minneapolis.
“He was very much a champion of the real estate program … He did a lot that may have been invisible to a lot of people in the university because it was in that niche area of real estate,” said Garrison. “I always think of him as a person who just got things done.”
Tousley helped start the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame at St. Thomas in 2010. Tousley was instrumental in several real estate market reports produced by the Shenehon Center. The college’s official obit also noted that “Tousley was instrumental in raising scholarship funds for students, including the Boyd Stofer and Ken Stensby Real Estate Student Competition, which awards scholarships to students for their winning real estate related business concepts.”
The college’s obituary noted that Tousley was “a fixture for many media outlets for his real estate expertise.” Translation: Reporters regularly called him for comment on real estate trends and the state of the market. “He was a media presence,” said Garrison.
Tousley’s father, Herb Tousley Jr., was also known in the business community. Herb Tousley Jr. started Herb Tousley Ford car dealership in White Bear Lake in 1956. Tousley Jr. died in 1977 at age 51 in an airplane crash in Alaska where he and friends were returning from a fishing trip.
The University of St. Thomas posted its official obituary on Monday. It notes that in lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to The Herb Tousley Real Estate Education Fund at St. Thomas.