Honoring the Life of Chester Reitenby Representative Kevin Cramer
Posted on 2013-02-12
CRAMER asked and was given permission to address the House for 1
minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. CRAMER. Mr. Speaker, a North Dakota legend died recently, and I
was honored to be able to attend the celebration of his life, a sendoff
worthy of a king.
Chester Reiten was like royalty, especially to the people of his hometown of Minot, where he served as their mayor for 14 years. Public service came naturally to Chet. During World War II, he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving as an ensign and commanding officer of a landing craft infantry ship.
In addition to military and local service, Chet served 16 years in the North Dakota Senate where he was also president pro tem.
Chester really made a name for himself and Minot when he combined his loves of Norwegian culture and America by founding the annual Norsk Hostfest, the largest Scandinavian festival in North America. The Hostfest brings thousands of people to Minot every year to celebrate all things Scandinavian. Chester received the St. Olav Medal from the King of Norway as a result of his work with Norsk Hostfest and his promotion of Norwegian and Scandinavian heritage. He received the Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Award in 2002 and was inducted into the Scandinavian American Hall of Fame in 2011.
May God bless Chester's memory; his wife, Joy; and their beautiful family. He will be missed.