Leon Leonard Oistad, son of the late Loyal and Berenice (Swanson) Oistad, was born on Nov. 8, 1942, at Thief River Falls, MN. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and graduated from Karlstad High School in 1960. Following graduation from Bemidji State College, Leon returned to Karlstad where he taught school and coached baseball, basketball and junior high football, managed the summer recreation program and coached American Legion and Little League baseball. July 1967 he married Faye Turnwall. They moved to St. Paul, MN where they had daughter Sarah. Leon graduated in 1971 from William Mitchell College of Law with a Juris Doctor degree. The family moved to Ada, MN, where they had daughters Ingrid and Rebecca, and where Leon practiced law for 15 years as a partner at Olson, Oistad & Opheim Law Firm. In 1980, he was elected Republican National Committeeman from Minnesota, and in 1983 was elected Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota, and re-elected in 1985. In 1985, the family moved to Anoka. Leon and Faye were divorced. In 1987, Leon and Arlys Stadum became parents to daughter Kati. Leon managed successful campaigns for Senator David Durenberger and Congressman Rod Grams. Leon along with his friend Dave Hoium authored a book There is No November, which detailed the Jon Grunseth for Governor Campaign. Leon later met and welcomed his daughter Kristin, who had been adopted by Carol and Leon Bjerke as an infant. Leon spent his retirement years residing between Shorewood and Karlstad, fishing and hunting for bear and deer, completing his daily crossword, and watching sports, including his favorite MN Twins. He especially loved the company of his family and good friends where his stories and laughter were heard and enjoyed by all. Leon passed away unexpectedly on Fri. afternoon, Sept. 18, 2015, at his hunting farm at the age of 72 years, 10 months and 10 days.
He is survived by five daughters: Sarah Oistad and children: Ingrid and Ana of Shorewood, MN; Ingrid (Chad) Melin, and children: Ellia and Lillian; of Chandler, AZ; Rebecca Oistad and children: Grant and Saffron, of Shorewood; Kati Stadum, of New York City; and Kristin Bjerke and children: Sydney, Gunnar and Haakon Gisvold of Fargo, ND; one brother: Byron (Irene) Oistad, of Buffalo, MN; one sister: LaVonne (Curt) Lundeen, of Pelican Rapids, MN; in addition to uncles, aunt, nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives. Leon is also survived by many dear friends, including his cherished cabin buddies, Chuck and Darrell and his dog BB.
Leon was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers: Dean and James