Oberstar memorials held today, Friday

Minnesota politics

Today and tomorrow, June 26-27, memorials for the late Rep. Jim Oberstar will be held in Minneapolis, Duluth and Chisholm. I posted my thoughts on Jim last month. The press release information is here for those planning to cover or attend the events:

Memorials for Congressman Jim Oberstar to be Held This Week

Governor Dayton, Congressman Sabo, Nolan and Minnesota Senators Franken and Klobuchar to speak

Duluth – Minnesotans from the Twin Cities to the Iron Range will have an opportunity to celebrate the life and career of U.S. Congressman Jim Oberstar at three memorial services this week. Oberstar served in Congress from 1975 to 2011. He was the longest-serving Member of Congress in Minnesota history and served as the chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He passed away at his home in Potomac, Maryland on May 3, 2014.

Speakers at the three events will include Governor Mark Dayton, retired Congressman Martin Sabo, 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. A complete agenda can be found below.

“This is an opportunity for people to recognize how much of a difference one person can make in our democracy,” said John Schadl, a former Oberstar staff person who is helping to organize the event. “Jim was the son of an Iron Miner who worked in the mines and earned scholarship to pay for college. Ultimately, he became a leader in Congress. His life and career are an example of how the American Dream is in reach for everyone.”

Oberstar worked tirelessly to create jobs in Northeast Minnesota, staunchly supporting the mining, timber, shipping and tourism industries. He also brought new industries to his district, attracting Cirrus Aviation to Duluth to manufacture a new generation of high tech general aviation aircraft. As one of Congress’s leading figures on transportation, Oberstar was responsible for bringing billions of dollars to Minnesota for roads, bridges and recreational trails.

A memorial website has been set up for people to view photos and videos of Oberstar at JimOberstar.org. Visitors will also be able to share their own memories of Minnesota’s longest-serving Congressman.


Memorial Services for Congressman Jim Oberstar

June 26, 2014
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
U of M, Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Program and Speakers:

  • Lee Munnich, Senior Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, U of M
  • (Master of Ceremonies)
  • Eric Kaler, University of Minnesota President
  • “Jim Oberstar, in his own words” (video)
  • Martin O. Sabo, Member of Congress (Ret.)
  • Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner
  • Rick Krueger, Krueger Consulting and former MN State Legislator
  • Gary Sjoquist, Advocacy Director, Quality Bicycle Products
  • Laurie McGinnis, Director, Center for Transportation Studies, U of M

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Following the event there will be a reception for the entire audience in atrium.

June 27, 2014

1:00 pm
Duluth Entertainment and Conventions Center, Harborside Ball Room

Program and Speakers:

  • Program begins with Native Drum Group – will play as people are seated
  • “Jim Oberstar, in his own words” (video)
  • Mayor Don Ness
  • Governor Dayton
  • U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar
  • U.S. Senator Al Franken
  • Congressman Rick Nolan
  • Melanie Benjamin, Chairwoman of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • Gary Doer, Canadian Ambassador to the United States
  • Dan Erhart, Jim Oberstar for U.S. House 1974 campaign
  • George Sundstrom, Northeast Minnesota Labor Leader
  • Ted Link–Oberstar, son of Jim Oberstar

2:45 pm – 3:30 PM

Dessert Reception begins. People look at memorabilia and kids to leave messages in a memory box, draw pictures at reception table.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Memorial Service at St. Joseph Catholic Church
113 4th Street SW, Chisholm, MN 55719


  • Roman Catholic Mass in honor of James Louis Oberstar

Additional speakers:

  • Governor Mark Dayton
  • Senator David Tomassoni
  • Commissioner Tony Sertich

Confirmed Attendance:

  • U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar

  • U.S. Senator Al Franken

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.