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Allen C. Kolstad

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LEDGER - Former Lt. Gov. Allen C. Kolstad, 76, a Liberty County farmer, rancher, businessman, Montana representative and senator, died of cancer Saturday at a Chester hospital.
His funeral is 2 p.m. Thursday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Chester, followed by a reception. Burial will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at St. Olaf Cemetery in Ledger, 33 miles south of Chester. Rockman Funeral Chapel of Chester is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors are his wife of 56 years, Iva Kolstad of Ledger; two sons, Cedric (Tomi) Kolstad of Mesa, Ariz., and Chris (Vicki) Kolstad of Ledger; a daughter, Cheryl (James) Gagnon of Fort Benton; a son-in-law, Wayne Neill of Scottsdale, Ariz.; three sisters, Doris (Bill) Fraser of Chester, Kay (Sam) Pederson of Westminster, Colo., and Sonja (Dennis) Diemert of Galata; 11 grandchildren and many nephews/nieces.
Allen was born Dec. 24, 1931, in Chester to Henry and Mabel (Webb) Kolstad. He grew up in Chester and graduated from C.H.S. in 1949, then attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., for two years.
He married Iva Matteson on Sept. 2, 1951. They moved to a farm south of Chester and began raising their family.
In addition to farming and ranching, Allen loved politics. He was elected to the Montana House of Representatives in 1968, then to the Montana Senate in 1975, serving on numerous committees during his 20 years in the state Legislature. He was an active Republican in many local, state and national issues, and supported the campaigns of Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and George Bush.
From 1988 to 1991, Allen served as Montana's lieutenant governor during Stan Stephens' administration. In 1990, he ran a hard-fought campaign for the U.S. Senate against the eventual winner, Max Baucus. In 1991, Allen was appointed by President Bush as the U.S. Commissioner to the International Boundary Commission, a position he held until 1993.
The Kolstads enjoyed their winters in Arizona, where Allen volunteered as co-chairman in organizing the annual "Montana Picnic" in Mesa. Allen had been an active member of St. Olaf's Church in Ledger since 1953 and had been a loyal Chester Rotarian for the past 40 years. In the 1970s, he also owned Chester Implement (a John Deere dealership) and Kolstad Grain Company (a grain purchasing business at Lothair).
Allen was preceded in death by his parents, two children, Cary Kolstad and Corrine Neill; and a sister, Hannah Johnson.
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Published in Great Falls Tribune on Aug. 5, 2008
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