Kongslie strides up to 90th birthday
All friends and relatives of Madras resident Chester Kongslie are invited to help him celebrate his 90th birthday at a reception from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 29, at the Jefferson County Senior Center.
Kongslie was born and raised in North Dakota by parents of Norwegian heritage. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and after the war his name was drawn from a lottery of veterans and he won acreage around Tule Lake, Calif.
He came to Madras on a lark, and ended up staying to farm then ran an apartment complex in Madras for a while, and later worked as a construction carpenter.
Interested in people and politics, Kongslie has written many letters to the editor, and has met regularly at the truck stop with his friends for many years.
Most people who don't know him personally would recognize him because of his two-mile walks up the Highway 97 grade from downtown to the industrial park and back several times a week.
When the weather is bad, he walks a treadmill at a local fitness center instead. The exercise has been good for his health, as he has been a cancer survivor for over 20 years.
Fond of traveling, his trips have taken him to many interesting places. He has visited Sheriff Arpaio's Tent City prison in Maricopa County, Ariz., has been to Taiwan four times, once with a farm tour group and later to acquire items for an import business. He also toured Vandenburg Air Force Base with his nephew who is a rocket engineer there.