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Published June 17, 2013, 12:00 AM

Lester Stern

Lester Stern, the loving husband of Patricia, and children, David and Rebecca, passed away peacefully after a brief illness in Fargo on Friday, June 14.

Lester was born on July 29, 1926 in Wahpeton to Hugo and Martha Stern. He graduated from Wahpeton High School in 1944. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. He received an associate degree in business from the North Dakota State School of Science in 1948 and then attended the University of Minnesota. He married Patricia née Koenig of Breckenridge, Minnesota in 1965.

Lester Stern

Lester Stern, the loving husband of Patricia, and children, David and Rebecca, passed away peacefully after a brief illness in Fargo on Friday, June 14.

Lester was born on July 29, 1926 in Wahpeton to Hugo and Martha Stern. He graduated from Wahpeton High School in 1944. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. He received an associate degree in business from the North Dakota State School of Science in 1948 and then attended the University of Minnesota. He married Patricia née Koenig of Breckenridge, Minnesota in 1965.

In 1950, he joined his father and uncles in the family business, The Stern Clothing Company. Stern Clothing was founded in Wahpeton, Dakota Territory in 1882. Lester served as president of Stern Clothing from 1970 until his retirement in 1992. During his tenure as president, Stern Clothing celebrated its centennial anniversary and opened stores in Lidgerwood and Fergus Falls, Minnesota. In his retirement, he worked as an assistant for Red River Human Services.

From 1975 to 1982, Lester served on the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, presiding as its president in 1980-81. He was a director of the First National Bank of Wahpeton. He also served as past president of the Wahpeton Chamber of Commerce, past president and charter member of the Wahpeton Kiwanis Club, president of the Golden K club, chairman of the Elks Lodge, chairman of the North Dakota State School of Science stadium fund drive as well as chairman of the United Fund Drive.

Lester was active in the American Legion and its military unit 40 & 8. He is a past master of the Wahpeton Masonic Lodge and is a past lodge treasurer and state committee member. He was also a member of the Eagles.

Survivors include his wife Patricia of Wahpeton, son David, daughter in law Lisa, grandchildren Max and Samuel of Santa Monica, California; daughter Becky Klava, son in law John and grandchildren Isabel and Isaac of Fargo and sister Barbara Neumann and family of Augusta, Georgia. Lester was preceded in death by his parents.

A visitation will be held at Vertin-Munson Funeral Chapel in Wahpeton from 5 to 7 pm on Wednesday, June 19 and a memorial service at St. John's in Wahpeton at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 20.

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