Lester Orrin Westberg, age 89, entered into rest at the Barrett Care Center on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. He was born in Douglas County, Minnesota, on May 21, 1921, to O.J. and Bertha (Larsson) Westberg.
Lester spent his early years as one of the "Westberg Brothers" on the family farm located in Urness Township of Douglas County. He was baptized and confirmed at Wennersborg Lutheran Church of rural Kensington. He attended Country School District #78 in Urness Township.
Lester was proud to have served his country as a Sergeant in the 66th Infantry (Panther) Division from 1943-1946 where he was honorably discharged at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, after being stationed in Ft. Blandin, Florida, Camp Robinson, Arkansas, Camp Rucker, Alabama, England and France. He witnessed the Germans sinking one of their troop ships, the USS Leapold (the second largest maritime disaster in history), as it crossed the Channel on Christmas Eve of 1944. Lester was one of "Five Westberg Brothers" serving in WWII at the same time.
After returning from his service, Lester was united in marriage to Irene Thorstad in 1948. They were blessed with two daughters: Janet and Connie. Irene passed away in 1957. Lester was married to Marcy Sletten in 1965 and added three step-children to his family: Barb, Mary and Dick Sletten. Marcy passed away in 1984. Lester was married to Alice Stenstrom in 1992.
Lester was a building contractor for 42 years. Lester and "the crew" built 97 new homes in the Hoffman area. He owned the Kensington and Hoffman lumber yards in partnership with his brother Dale for 27 years.
Community service was important to Lester. He was a 60 plus year member of the Hoffman American Legion and represented them in many parades and funerals, a lifetime member of the Red Rock Golf Club, served on the Hoffman City Council and as Mayor of Hoffman, and served on the Bethel and Messiah Lutheran church councils.
Favorite pastimes for Lester included visiting with family and friends and going for "Sunday drives." He was an avid hunter and fisherman, enjoying hunting and fishing trips with family and friends, then later with his grandchildren. He bowled and golfed in leagues for many years. He also loved traveling and meeting new people. Lester had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to play jokes on family and friends. He was a devoted Twins fan and was honored by them with a card of appreciation and greetings in 2009.
Lester is survived by his daughters Janet Westberg of Plymouth, MN and Connie Bye of Hoffman, MN; grandsons Andrew Bye of Alexandria, MN and Bryan Bye of Hoffman, MN; great grandchildren Jaycee Spaulding, Ben Bye and Dayton Bye; step-son Dick Sletten; sons-in-law Howard Anderson and DuWayne Lund; former sons-in-law Gerry Krusemark and Brad Bye; former daughters-in-law Priscilla Randin and Kathy Sletten; step-grandchildren Karen Anderson, Eric Sletten, Scott Krusemark, Christopher Sletten and Adam Sletten; sisters-in-law Arlene Westberg and Colleen Westberg; and many nieces and nephews.
Lester was preceded in death by his parents O.J. and Bertha Westberg, brothers Kenneth, Harold (Fritz), John, LeMay, Neil, Bill and Dale Westberg, wife Irene (Thorstad) Westberg and wife Marcy (Sletten) Westberg, and step-daughters Mary Lund and Barb Anderson.
Service: 11 am Saturday, Nov. 6, Messiah Lutheran Church, Hoffman
Clergy: Rev. Nathan Thompson
Burial: Bethel Cemetery, Hoffman
Visitation: 5-7pm Friday, 7pm prayer service, at Funeral Home; one hour before service at church on Saturday