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Minnesota memorial services set for Oberstar

Rep. Jim Oberstar speaks with Judge Gerald Heaney at the annual Labor Day picnic in Duluth in September 2002. (Bob King /

Three services in Minnesota honoring the late U.S. Rep. James Oberstar are planned for later this month.

Oberstar, who represented Northeastern Minnesota in Congress for more than 35 years, died in his sleep on the morning of May 3 at age 79. Oberstar’s funeral was May 8 in Potomac, Md., outside of Washington.

The planned memorial services are:

  • In Minneapolis on June 26, from 2:30-4 p.m. at Cowles Auditorium on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
  • In Duluth on June 27, from 1-3 p.m. at the Harborview Ballroom at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The memorial service will be followed by a reception.
  • In Chisholm, Oberstar’s hometown, on June 27, from 6-8 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 113 Fourth St. SW.

Oberstar was elected in 1974 and served through 2011, representing the 8th Congressional District that covers all of Northeastern Minnesota. He was Minnesota’s longest-serving congressman and spent much of that time focusing on transportation issues, including a stint as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

A new website was launched this week to honor Oberstar’s accomplishments. The site,, features photos and videos of Oberstar; visitors will be able to share their stories and memories.