CHOTEAU — Chester (Chet) Solberg passed away of natural causes on the morning of March 26, at the Teton Medical Center Nursing Home in Choteau, where he had resided for the past four years.
Chet was a Montana native and life-long resident, having been born Dec. 2, 1916, in Opheim, and grew up on the family homestead on the Richland Bench near the Canadian border northeast of there. He took up farming, worked additional agricultural jobs, and worked on the construction of the Fort Peck dam in the mid-1930s.
Chet fell in love and in 1938 married Marjorie Miner, a country school teacher who boarded with the Solberg family. They continued to reside in the Opheim-Richland area and engaged in farming, and welcomed three children, Elaine, Faye and David while living on the Richland Bench. In 1944, Chet and Marge purchased the International Harvester dealership in Scobey, and after moving to Scobey, added Ann and Loren to the family.
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Chet served as two-term Mayor of the City of Scobey, was a member and council member of Scobey Lutheran Church, became a 50 year honoree member of the Scobey Lions Club, a 69 year member of the Scobey Masonic Lodge, served on the Scobey Fire Department, Daniels County Fair Board, Daniels Memorial Hospital board, Daniels Memorial Hospital Foundation board, helped found the Daniels County Museum and served on its board. Chet also served as a Montana State Representative from Daniels County in the early 1980s, and was a director of the Montana Auto Dealers’ Association.
Chet was preceded in death by Marjorie, his wife of nearly 70 years; his eldest daughter Elaine Student; a son-in-law Jon Colebank; and grandson Brian Colebank; as well as his parents; brothers Elmo, Willis, Albert, Vern and Howard; and sisters Beatrice and Jean. He is survived by son David (Sandra) of Billings, and their children Beca, Troy and Matthew; daughter Faye Bartley (Bill) of Normal, Ill., and their children Erin and Tim; daughter Ann Colebank of Choteau, and her sons Allen and Kevin; and son Loren of Choteau; as well as sister Shirley Aarthun Chase; granddaughter Margo Peck; and numerous great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, April 1, at 2 p.m. at the Scobey Lutheran Church in Scobey, with internment at the Scobey cemetery. Memorials may be made to Scobey Lutheran Church or SAFI, both of Scobey, or Teton Medical Center Foundation in Choteau.