Allen C. Kolstad, 76, a wellknown Liberty County farmer, rancher, politician, and businessman, died of cancer Saturday, Aug. 2, 2008, at the Chester hospital.
His funeral will held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Chester with a reception to follow. Graveside burial rites will be at 6 p.m. at St. Olaf Cemetery in the Ledger community, 33 miles south of Chester. Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel of Chester. Allen was born Dec. 24, 1931, in Chester to Henry and Mabel (Webb) Kolstad. He grew up in Chester and graduated from Chester High School in 1949, then attended Concordia College in Moorehead, 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, Ariz. 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. Survivors are his wife of 56 years, Iva Kolstad of Ledger; two sons, Cedric (Tomi) Kolstad of Mesa, and Chris (Vicki) Kolstad of Ledger; one 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 Westminister, Colo., and Sonja (Dennis) Diemert of Galata; 11 grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces.