Chester Reiten died Tuesday at the age of 89.
Reiten was the founder of Norsk Hostfest, a former mayor of Minot and state senator, and the man who built the communications group that owns the television station you're now watching.
Perry Olson has more on the life of a man so many knew, respected, and loved.
(Perry Olson - KX News) "When I say Chester Reiten...what's the first thing that comes to mind?"
(Bob Schempp - Reiten Friend) "He fills the room..."
And Chester, born in Hastings, ND -- filled many a room with many a great idea in his 89 years. First, as an assistant county agent in Jamestown not long after graduating from NDSU and serving in the Navy in the 2nd World War. But not long after his time in Jamestown, Chet came to Minot -- and his love of broadcasting led to the purchase of KXMC-TV. More TV stations followed in Bismarck, Dickinson, and Williston growing Reiten Television...and radio as well -- stations that were sold years ago.
He left the day to day operations of the KX Network to turn his attention more to the Norsk Hostfest, the thing he once told wife joy he loved more than any other venture...and did it ever grow -- the largest North American Scandinavian festival around. Chester's life was marked by major accomplishments.
Whether winning elections or pushing through flood control or building a communications empire or piecing together the continent's premiere Scandinavian festival, Chet was a born leader. Wednesday morning -- a group of friends his wife actually named met again...like they do every week...
(Art Ekbold - Reiten Friend) "She always told Chester...you go down and listen to those know it alls...she gave this group the name!"
This particular morning was full of stories about Chester for the 'Know It Alls'...a time to remember what they loved about the man...
"His influence on getting things done...you don't ever want to work on something with Chet and say we can't do it because he would make sure it happened." "He was a highly successful, well thought of man...certainly one that we are going to miss." (Bob Schempp - Reiten Friend) "He was just a very good person for Minot. He is going to be missed but his legacy will live on."
Wednesday, the Know It Alls toasted their friend...and we do the same -- thanks Chester...for everything...
Chester Reiten died in his sleep Tuesday afternoon with his wife of 65 years, Joy, holding his hand.
By the way, Chester always referred to Joy as "my very good friend" when introducing her or talking about her.
The Reitens have five children and four grandchildren.