Lars Kindem

Lars Kindem

  • Funeral Date: 2/09/13
  • Funeral Time: 2:00 PM
  • Date of Birth: 3/29/33
  • Date of Death: 1/26/13
  • Funeral Location: St. John's Lutheran Church - Northfield

Lars Gerhardt Kindem, age 79 of Northfield, Minnesota passed away Saturday morning, January 26, 2013, at Ecumen Prairie Lodge in Brooklyn Center. The funeral service will be held Saturday, February 9, 2013,at 2 pm with visitation at 1:00 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. He was a member and sang bass in the choir for many years. He was also a strong supporter of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

Lars grew up in Northfield at the foot of St. Olaf College’s Manitou Heights at 101 South Lincoln, directly below the Old Main hill where he first learned to ski. Throughout his life, Lars adored telling memorable stories about growing up in Northfield and the College on the Hill he loved so much. His parents, Ingvald and Anna Kindem, came from Norway in 1923, and along with three children. Lars was fluent in Norwegian and all things Norse. Four of his brothers served in World War II. Growing up during World War, Lars shined shoes for Navy cadets at Ytterboe Hall. He was tutored by his mother, a master cook, and learned to create exquisite Norwegian specialities. Many friends remember delicious hand-crafted breads he baked daily, often delivered still warm to appreciative Kierkegaard scholars and others at St. Olaf.

Lars attended Longfellow Elementary School, graduated from Northfield High School in 1951, and from St. Olaf College in 1955. Lars was a lifelong Norse scholar and talented athlete. He went on to earn a Master’s Degree at the University of Minnesota in Semantics and co-wrote a Norwegian dictionary. Lars served as president of Howard Hong’s Kierkegaard House Foundation for many years located at St. Olaf College.

In high school Lars was called “Lefse” because of his mother’s famous lefse. He loved outdoor sports and especially skiing after his older brothers launched him off the St. Olaf Ski Jump. He excelled in virtually everything he did, lettering in track and football, and starring as single wing quarterback on Northfield’s undefeated 1950 football team. At St. Olaf, Lars pole vaulted in track and he proudly wore his St. Olaf letterman’s jacket his entire life.

Lars met Miss Jean Mattson at St. Olaf. They were married and had five children. After St. Olaf, Lars received a Fulbright scholarship and taught history in Norway where son, Lars, was joined by his sister, Nina who was born in Norway. He was a dedicated scholar of Norse and his many friends, teaching associates and former students in Norway will dearly miss him. Returning to Minnesota, Lars and his growing family lived in Burnsville. He coached and taught Norwegian and American history for three decades at North High and Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis. He was well known as an incredibly innovative, creative and caring teacher, especially for his tender but disciplined mentoring and coaching abilities. Lars served as a Minnesota high school ski coach longer than any coach in the state, earning him the title “Dean of Coaches.” He was inducted into the Nordic Ski Coach Hall of Fame in 2004 as the most highly successful and groundbreaking coach in the history of the Minneapolis high school system, collecting three state championships and starting the first high school girls ski team in Minnesota. When Lars left North High for Roosevelt, his North High teams had established a dual meet record of 69-0. His teams at North and Roosevelt High Schools won 17 Minneapolis city titles, 119 dual meets, 16 district titles and landed in the first three places in the state a total of seven times.

Lars was a long-time member of the United States Ski Association (USSA), serving on the Board of Directors, President of the Central Division, Vice President of the Nordic Division and on the National Board of Directors where he chaired several committees. He wrote the rules to bring them into international compliance. He traveled to Norway and Finland with a study group to prepare for the Olympic Games. He served as Chief Timekeeper and Stadium Chief where he met the King of Norway at the Lake Placid Olympics. He was elected to the USAA Board of Directors and U.S. Ski Team, Trustee of the U.S. Ski Educational Foundation, and U.S. Olympic Ski Games Committee.

As a devoted father, exceptional friend, scholar, winning coach, and talented teacher, Lars touched thousands of lives. To his family, friends, and students, Lars Kindem, also known as “Argo,” was a uniquely gifted individual who truly made a difference in their lives, making the world a better place from his lasting contributions. Lars was wedded to St. Olaf College and especially devoted to the Choir, for it had a central place in his life, and the sanctity of the names woven into their robes. Whether skiing or singing, Lars loved life and he has left us, the living, an indelible legacy of memories to cherish — precious stories about Northfield and his dog “Argo”, memorable tales of the Cannon River and Dundas lore; hunting and fishing expeditions (Lars still holds the state record for his 2lb-15oz-20in Kokanee salmon he caught in Caribou Lake in 1971). While attending St. Olaf, he cared for the founder of the St. Olaf Choir, F. Melius Christiansen, the grand Choirmaster, in his final days. Ella Hjertaas Roe commanding Lars during an early voice lesson at St. Olaf to “Sing it to your Mother, Lars,” and he went right home and sang it loudly to Anna.

Lars is sadly missed and fondly remembered by his many friends, constant companions, and admirers.

Lars was preceded in death by his parents Ingvald and Anna (Sekse) Kindem; his WW II veteran brothers, Olaf, Halvor, and Alf; daughter Sonja. Lars is survived by his sisters Andi and Margit Anne, brothers Roald (Shirley) and WWII veteran Erling (Joyce), former wife, Jean, children Lars III, Nina, Tor (Erin) and Bjorn (Stephanie); and by five grandchildren Arianna, Tor, Bjorn, Lauren and Erik, son in-law James Hugo and the devoted followers of “Argo,” their indomitable and fearless Fubar leader.

Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com

36 comments

  1. B. Wayne Quist

    In memory of Lars from Hoz. In high school he was called “Lefsa” and at St. Olaf we called him “Argo.” He was our leader, our mentor and friend, a lifelong companion. Gunder and I saw Lars at noon Friday and he passed away twelve hours later. Suffering from Altzheimers, his passing was a blessing, but he is sadly missed and will be fondly remembered. Lars was wedded to St. Olaf and especially to the choir for it had a central place in his life. Lars grew up at the foot of Manitou Heights at 101 Lincoln and had many stories to tell about Northfield and the College on the Hill. Lars’ love for St. Olaf and all that he did throughout his life is eternal, his work everlasting. As a winning coach and devoted teacher, he touched thousands of lives, and as my dear friend, he touched my soul and gave me joy.
    B. Wayne Quist
    NHS ’54
    St. Olaf ’58

  2. David Martinson

    The Reader’s Digest used to have a feature called “The Most Unforgettable Character I’ve Met.” For me, that was Lars Kindem. He was the leader and mentor of a band of brothers of which I am privileged to be a part. Lars was a uniquely gifted prodigy who truly made a difference. The world is a better place for his being in it. Rest in peace, my friend.

  3. B. Wayne Quist

    Some of Lars’ original sayings, to name just a few –
    Exostentialism!
    Give me Meaning!
    Rantipole miscreant
    Give me my Unamuno!
    Hello there, is that really you?
    Take me to your leader!
    Salubrious ne’er-do-well
    Better well hung than ill-wed
    We got ‘em by the balls
    Got-rich peckerhead
    Fubar Forever
    Facker

  4. Rolf Charlston

    Skiing or singing, Lars loved life. Although I didn’t slalom with him, I was privileged to stand next to him in the St. Olaf Choir. We sang Bach to Beautiful Saviour. A cherished memory, Larso Basso, mange takk.

    Rolf Charlston
    St. Olaf ’53

  5. B. Wayne Quist

    ARGO’S LAST RALLY
    August 6-11, 2010
    As Gus noted so well after the memorable last rally in 2010, each day’s events seemed divinely inspired, unfolding magically at The Cottage on Forest, St. John’s Church, the Northfield Country Club salute, Argo’s “Lament” at Mike & Al’s in Dundas, the Owatonna Orphanage & Millersburg Schoolhouse, Nerstrand Meat Market, Veblen Homestead, Argo’s Holden Muus-hunt, Fubar events reminiscent of so many years ago―a Nude Olympics at Gunder’s Wedding Rally, European Odysseys, extended times in Washington, DC, the National Archives, Virginia’s Skyline Drive, Boar’s Head Tavern and Old Ebbitt’s Grill―sights seen by mortal Fubar eyes, and Argo’s precious little stories about caring for F. Melius Christiansen in his final days, and Ella Hjertaas demanding, during one of his early voice lessons at St. Olaf, “Sing it to your Mama, Lars,” (and he went right home and did). As we complete our final trips around the sun, we duly note Argo’s admonition to “not go gentle into that good night,” for in the vastness of the salubrious sea of phantasmagorical Fubar space, time is lost in our endless race.

  6. Paul & Loey Christenson

    Lars has left us all with an indelible legacy of grand memories. Standing next to him in Choir, always trying one’s best to see who could reach the lowest note in Gretchaninov, sharing a certain amount of fooling around with the passing of objects down the row, speaking to one another only in Norwegian and reminiscing about the “olden days”. Lars knew the Northfield scene with aplomb and in these last years spent a great deal of his time returning to Northfield to visit the elderly professors either in their homes, their nursing homes or their hospitals.
    Lars indeed was a great gift to so many of us. We love you, Lars!

  7. B. Wayne Quist

    MINNESOTA NORDIC SKI COACH’S ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME
    —Lars G. Kindem—
    Minneapolis North and Roosevelt —
    Year Inducted 2004

    Lars Kindem was the ski coach at North High School, where he coached a ski team that won the City high school championship his first year and every year thereafter for the next nine years. When he left North to transfer to Roosevelt, his North High teams had established a dual meet record of 69-0. Minneapolis Jr. Ski Club members, Clyde Brodt, Jim Bajari, and Mike Hartig, skied on the team that won the Minnesota State Championship in 1960. North won the Cross-Country team titles in 1964 and 1965, also with Minneapolis Jr. Ski Club members. In 1971, Lars started the first high school girls’ ski team in the State of Minnesota at Roosevelt High. There were 75 girls’ teams in five years. Lars testified as an expert witness in Miles Lord’s Federal Court in support of Jr. club member Toni St. Pierre’s lawsuit to have the right to ski competitively for the Hopkins High School Ski Team. Lars submitted a bid at the USSA Convention for the Mpls. Ski Club and North Star Ski Touring Club to host the 1973 Nordic Nationals after Norm Oakvik and Bob Gray laid out a trail system at Bush Lake and the Hyland Lake Park Reserve. As race time approached, there was no snow. Lars appeared on The Boone & Erickson WCCO radio show to plead for area residents to assist in hauling snow to cover the trail system. It worked. At those nationals he also provided for the first doping tests done in skiing events in America. For his role as Chief of Race, Lars received the USSA’s highest award for race organization in the United States that year. He organized the first night ski race. The U.S. and Canada raced at Wirth Park with light provided by 87 Coleman Lanterns on bamboo poles held in place by people. Lars became an F.I.S. Technical Delegate in 1973, the same year that he served as TD for the American Birkebeiner, a job he performed another seven times. He was TD for the Jr. Nordic Nationals at Steamboat, the Sr. Nationals at Anchorage, the 1976 Olympic Tryouts at Telemark, and America’s first World Cup at Telemark. He was Starter at the World Cup Nordic Combined at Giant’s Ridge, also Chief of Timekeeping for the 1988 Olympic Tryouts at Giant’s Ridge, the Biathlon Nationals and World Championships at Lake Placid. In 1976, he organized the “Ski For Light” international race for blind skiers, with the Minnesota Vikings Front Four “Purple People Eaters” also participating as guides for blind skiers. Lars was one of five that assisted in planning the facilities for Nordic events at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. He designed the scoreboard and timing building for the Cross-Country stadium. He traveled to Lahti, Finland, with a study group to prepare for the Olympic Games where he served as Chief of Stadium and Chief of Timekeeping. He held positions on USSA committees such as Cross-Country, Nordic competition, and eventually became USSA Vice President for Nordic skiing. At the same time, he was President of the Central Division. Later he was elected to the Board of Directors of the USSA and the U.S. Ski Team; a Trustee of the U.S. Ski Educational Foundation, and member of the U.S. Olympic Ski Games Committee. Organizing fair races and providing accurate timekeeping were his first priority.
    Mark Lahtinen http://www.mshsca.org/nordicski/hofheader2/larskindemhof.htm

  8. I am so glad that I had the chance to spend time with Lars. I first met him at St. Olaf College. However, it was in our later years that we became good friends. There are so many things that I liked about Lars, too numerous to mention here. I was continuously amazed at the wide range of his talents and accomplishments that he shared with others during his entire life time. Everyone who knew Lars remembers his masterful singing voice. He was a proud member of the well-known St. Olaf Choir during his college years. In fact, Lars often broke out with his rendition of one of his favorite songs, Shenandoah, right up to the last days of his life. It was a joy to know him.

  9. Peter Charlston

    Lars Kindem was already a legend on the campus when I arrived as a freshman at St. Olaf in the fall of 1954. He had already established his reputation as one of the more memorable rascals of Rice County and as a merry prankster on Manitou Heights. What outrageous actions sprang from his wild imagination! Who else would have had the courage to climb the WCAL radio tower? Who else would have activated his own claim by walking blindfolded from the campus to Dundas and back? [This sparked such admiration in other students that he led a trusting band of blindfolded Oles on the same round trip, though not all were able to successfully complete the mission] Who else, during a sweeping outdoor panoramic photo of the student body and faculty, would have sprinted from the end of a standing back row to the other end in time to appear twice in the same picture? And who else would have or could have dashed from a singing engagement with the St. Olaf Choir in Minneapolis to a cross-town college track meet just in time to compete and win the pole vault competition — in concert attire?

    Lars was a ubiquitous presence on the St. Olaf campus. He grew up at the foot of The Hill (101 Lincoln) with the curiosity of a Nordic explorer that led to a thorough knowledge of the college’s structural complex. His courage and curiosity not only took him to the highest point on the campus (top of the radio tower) but to destinations underground as well; he became acquainted with the college’s secret tunnel system and explored its entire network. His reputation often preceded him, which is why he was blamed for or credited with turning off the power (all the lights) and turning loose a greased pig one evening in the college library. He refused to accept credit for that prank and ensuing pandemonium though some still believe he was the mastermind behind it.

    Lars was full of mischief, but he was much more than a prankster. He was a bright student, particularly interested in history and, for three years, he was a proud basso in the St. Olaf Choir. After his graduation, he enjoyed an outstanding career in high school teaching and coaching. He was inducted into the Minnesota Nordic Ski Coaches Association Hall of Fame and was a meet organizer and chief timekeeper on the U.S. Olympic Ski Committee.

    His parents, Ingvold and Anna Kindem, were born in Norway. The children were raised in their Northfield home where Norwegian was spoken as much or more than English. Consequently, Lars’s fluency in Norwegian and familiarity with Nordic history and culture turned out to be beneficial for the choir on its ’55 summer tour of Norway.

    As a student, Lars took voice lessons from my aunt, Ella Hjertaas Roe (another legend on The Hill), who, one fine day, helped him rehearse a song in her studio. She was so thrilled with his progress that she turned to him and urgently encouraged him to go home at once: “Sing it to your mother, Lars, sing it to your mother!” And he did. He dashed down The Hill and sang with a joyful heart to his loving and receptive mother, Anna Kindem, the most famous lefse maker in Rice County.

    Throughout his entire life, Lars remained a proud and loyal Ole. He was a frequent visitor to the St. Olaf campus and was one of the college’s most generous supporters and dedicated alums. More than anything, Lars loved the St. Olaf Choir. He loved the experience of singing in the choir under the direction of Olaf Christiansen, son of the choir’s founder, F.Melius Christiansen. He loved the camaraderie of singing with his friends in the bass section, and, as a basso, he had a particular fondness for the great Russian composers, Gretchaninoff and Tschesnokoff, and the thrill of “cranking out a low C” in Our Father or Salvation is Created.

    Many summers ago, Lars and Nini and their five children left their Minnesota home in their station wagon and trailing boat with the Ole Evinrude motor and drove 2,000 miles to the Far West to join Vicky and me and our two young children for a vacation at a place called Happy Camp at Netarts Bay on the Oregon coast. We stayed in cabins that had been built during the Great Depression. Eleven of us stayed in those cabins for $80 for a week, and we had a wonderful time. Lars and I motored out in his boat every day, crabbing for all the Dungeness we could pull up in the big rings, and when we came in with our catch, we’d throw the crabs into the boiling barrel-pot next to the cabins. The kids raced and turned cartwheels on the beach, and we all feasted on fresh crab, and Lars would proclaim in a resonant bass voice filled with dramatic intensity, “We are at one with the universe!”

    Three weeks ago, I called Lars. We sang a song in Norwegian that he taught me many years ago, a humorous song about mice dancing on a drum. He was in good voice and good spirit. It was our last reunion.

    His magnanimous spirit is now and always will be transcendently glorious. “Whence comes such another?!”

    Peter “Gus” Charlston
    St. Olaf College, Class of ‘58

  10. Becky Dunaisky

    As a former Roosevelt HS skier I will always appreciate the opportunity “Mr. Kindem” provided as a coach. I loved listening to his stories of past ski experiences, though we never knew how much of an impact he made in our state for the sport of skiing.
    My husband, who is currently coaching the Little Falls ski team, saw this on skinny ski and notified me…I obviously spoke of Mr. Kindem a bit !!

    Thank you for the wonderful experience and memories.

    Becky (Sucher) Dunaisky
    Roosevelt HS, Class of ’86

  11. Carolyn Solmonson Norquist

    When I first heard of Lars’ passing, a flood of happy memories – including tears and smiles – came back to me. We shared St. Olaf Choir experiences, including our 1955 Norway Choir Tour. Lars gave me helpful suggestions in Norwegian pronunciation when I sang the solo in “Deilig er Jorden” (Beautiful Savior) on that Tour.
    His encouragement helped me to continue a lifetime of singing and performing in Norwegian. Lars’ love of singing and all music gave great impetus to any group he sang with, including many years also with the Frederic Hilary Chorale (Minneapolis).
    We will miss you, dear friend, but I’m sure the Heavenly Choir has already welcomed you with open arms into the Bass Section. I can still see and hear you singing and playing your Norwegian Jazz!

  12. Maria Binetti

    As Kierkegaard Scholar, I always keep in mind your generosity and kindness. You used to come to Finhold House bringing the bread baked by you, and the fruits picked by your hands. I will never forget that afternoon, riding by Northfield countryside with Bill, Esther and . GOOD BYE, MY KIERKEGAARDIAN FRIEND !!!!!!!!!!! HASTA SIEMPRE !!

  13. Dick Green

    One memory of Lars was at the start of the 1977 Birke. Lars was the starter with his little cannon. The skiers from Norway decided to “jump start” nine minutes before the offical cannon went off. Lars ran out in front to try and stop the skiers, which was in vain. He did call ahead to the finish and told them to adjust the finish time by nine minutes. I was in the first group and felt something was going to happen, so was ready when the rush started. Dick Green

  14. Bruce Moland

    Lars was a great leader in Cross Country Skiing in the United States. I had the pleasure of being his Assistant Chief of Time Keeping at the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games ibn 1980. We served for many years together on the Cross Country Committee of the United States Ski Association Central Division. I both preceeded and succeeded Lars’ eleven year term as Chair. We served together as Techical Delegates for Olympic Try-outs in 1988 and also worked together on the 1978 and 1985 Cross Country World Cup Races at Telemark in Wisconsin and Giants Ridge in Minnesota respectively. Lars had a great sense of humor. Cross Country Skiing has lost a great leader. We will miss you Lars.

    Bruce Moland
    Retired FIS TD

  15. Bruce Moland

    Lars was Chief of Time Keeping for Cross Country Skiing at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games. The rules for cross country skiing then provided that races were to be timed to the one hundreth of a second. In the men’s 15 km event, Thomas Wassberg of Sweden defeated Juha Mieto of Finland by .01 seconds in a race with a winning time of about forty minutes. The results were based solely on timing because Mieto and Wassberg did not ski head to head. The timing systems worked superbly. Lars’ well trained and disciplined hand timing crew showed a tie because hand timing watches were only accurate to a tenth of a second. As a result of that close race, the International Ski Federation changed the rules so that future international races were determined by a tenth rather than hundreth of a second. Lars and his crew were just too good, even for the Olympic Games. Following that race, Lars celebrated the victory with His Majesty, Carl Gustav, the then and current King of Sweden.

  16. anthony [tony] lamo

    i attended roosevelt high school from 1978-1980 ,lars was my teacher for american history,norwegian language as well as my cross country ski coach. he had a gentle humor about him and was my favorite teacher by far.i spent 3 years in his norwegian class and in the “viking club”[extra-curicullar activity for us norwegians].i also had the privelege of fishing with just him and i on the lake he caught his record fish.he taught me alot and to not take things to seriously,valhalla my friend – tony lamo

  17. Cathie Wuollet Morey

    In 1957 when I first entered North High School in Minneapolis as a sophomore, I had the great privilege of having Mr. Kindem as my American history teacher. He soon became my favorite teacher and remained so for all time, for the skilled and enthusiastic way he taught history, and for the way he demonstrated genuine interest in the well being of all his students. In my junior and senior years at North High, I also took his Norwegian classes so that I could continue to enjoy being one of his students.

    Through the many years since high school, I have frequently thought of Mr. Kindem and each time my heart has been warmed by my fond memories of him. I am very grateful for the blessing it was to have been taught by such a kind and exceptional teacher.

    My heartfelt sympathy goes out to entire family of Lars Kindem for your loss. May the way his special life influenced you and so many others, bring comfort to you. And may the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.

    Most sincerely,
    Cathie (Wuollet) Morey
    North High School
    Class of 1960

  18. Anna Odegaard Thissen

    I first met Lars through his younger sister, Margit Anne, my BFF.
    A memorable event was his 25th birthday when he posted signs at 101 S Lincoln declaring 25 years of progress. I last spoke with Lars at the 100th anniversary celebration of our beloved St Olaf Choir. Blessed be the memory of a basso profundo.

    Amma Odegaard Thissen
    NHS 1958
    St Olaf 1962

  19. Mark Lahtinen

    Lars was my ski coach his last 2 years at North High. By then he had coached a State Champion Team and 2 individual State Champions in cross country skiing. He was the preeminent ski coach in the city and one of the top coaches in the State.
    I remember dryland training sessions in the basement of North where Lars introduced us to resting pulse to monitor our training and health. There was a pine tar party (to prepare our wood skis for the season) at his garage in our arch rival Henry HS territory.
    He coached us in technique sessions on a loop on the 9th hole at Wirth – skiing around trying to perfect the diagonal stride.
    He lead us around ski in the race course on the Back 9 at Wirth.
    On race days he would sometimes walk around with a tin of wax (not necessarily the wax of the day) trying to psyche out the other coaches. He would ice fish with other teachers on Twin Lake below the race course west of the Wirth Par 3.
    I reconnected with Lars in 1976 when he was the Technical Delegate for the American Birkebeiner. About 20 years later we reconnected again for lunch and reminisced and he brought copies of ski results from the years I skied for him. The last time I saw Lars was when he was inducted into the Minneapolis Ski Club Hall of Fame several years ago.
    It was fun to read about his escapades, adventures and accomplishments in the other posts. Coaches seem bigger than life to a high schooler. Lars was truly larger than life in a bigger arena as well.
    Lars as a coach and teacher touched many lives including mine. He helped instill in me a love of cross country skiing as a lifetime sport which I still pursue today. Lars, you are already missed.
    Heia Norge! Heia Lars!

  20. Rolf Charlston

    While I became a disciple of Lars like all Fubars, initially I was his mentor. When he joined the Varsity Choir and we were rehearsing and singing next to each other, as the veteran I gave him some tips and coached him, and he later called me his “choir mentor.” As a rehearsal was about to begin in Steensland and as members were arriving, chatting, and taking their seats, they would see the blackboard with the names of the pieces we were going to rehearse. Olaf would be sitting at the piano improvising and modulating. Soon we would hear that he was modulating into the key and the opening chord of the first, reharsal piece. He would hold that chord for a moment, pause, look up, say nothing, and give us the downbeat. It might be our Bach motet. Better be ready! Lars, when you hear that modulation coming to the opening, you sit forward in your chair with your sheet music open and up. Later, upon reflection, we realized this was not a gimmick by Olaf. He was preparing us for concerts when the pitch was given on a pipe by a member during the applause, and that opening chord was quietly hummed and passed along by the choir. Oh, I would point out gestures. When Olaf would look over at the tenors, for example, and slightly elevate three fingers, it would signal to them to bring out the third of the chord. (Of course, Fubars would take or drink the fifth.) Or gestures for the choir to brighten or darken the tone. Sing Ye, Lars!

    Rolf Charlston
    St. Olaf ’53

  21. Jim Carlson

    When I was in 10th grade at Roosevelt High School I was challenged by Lars to score 3 goals in one game on the Roosevelt sophmore squad. He said he would take me out for a steak dinner if I scored 3 goals. Well I scored 3 goals in one game so Lars brought me to Jimmy Heggs in downtown Minneapolis. I will never forget the memory. Thanks Lars. You really touched my life. Jim Carlson 1971 graduate from Roosevelt High School.

  22. Marie Biorn Sathrum

    To the Kindem Family –
    A friend sent the obituary of Lars to me and the many good memories it elicited have filled my head and heart these last days. I will be with you in spirit on Saturday. Marie Biorn Sathrum, NHS ’52, STO ’56

  23. Jim Bajari

    Lars was indeed one of a kind in the most positive sense of the word. I was fortunate to have been a member of his first state championship ski team in 1960. I believed I knew him well but as I read his obituary I did not know of the extent or depth of his life and his significant accomplishments. Yes, we knew of the official position in the Olympics and his meeting of the King of Norway of which he was extremely proud. He told me how it came about that he met the king: Lars was the official time keeper at the Olympics and the Norwegian won the event (I believe it was by one hundredth of a second) and there was substantial controversy that the time would be so close over 30 (?) kilometers. For this Olympics, Lars had established electronic timing for the first time and the variance between 1st and 2nd place was so small that the second place country wanted a gold metal as well. (Evidently timing by a stop watch which indicated a tie.) However, it was classic Lars that he would have nothing to do with that request. He dug his heals in and stuck his chin out in his most determined fashion and declared that Norway won the event. Thus the invite from the king who thanked him for his honesty. And, I believe that if the Norwegian would have lost by one hundredth of a second Lars would have recorded it as a silver and not as a gold metal win.

    Thank you Lars for your impact on my life.

    With respect,
    Jim Bajari
    North High
    Class of 1960

  24. nick lewis

    My fondest memory of Lars is of him standing high atop the the monument on Bridge Square on a balmy night in the spring of ’57 railing, ala Trotsky, against the Northfield cops for gunning down Ytterboe in cold blood that afternoon.

    • B. Wayne Quist

      Nick,
      Where are you these days, still in California? We called Lars “Argo” and he named Don Clark “Hobo” – Hobo passed away in 2000 – Lars and Hobo have plots next to each other in the St. Olaf section at Oaklawn, the cemetery on the east edge of town.
      Wayne Quist
      952-270-8764

  25. B. Wayne Quist

    We received a very nice email from Anton Armstrong, Conductor of The St. Olaf Choir, during the Choir’s current winter tour out west:

    “As we arrived in Seattle two days ago, I was saddened to learn of Lar’s death. Over the year’s I was delighted when Lars would visit campus and sit in on an Ole Choir rehearsal. He shared with me many of the stories of his years in the St. Olaf Choir and the time he spent as a care-taker for F.Melius during that final year of Christy’s life. He was a good man filled with so much affection and gratitude for what the St. Olaf Choir had meant to him. I am personally grateful for the support and encouragement he showed me since assuming leadership of the St. Olaf Choir in 1990.

    “What I could do to remember and pay tribute to Lars, is to dedicate our performance of the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil at our Home Concert in Boe Memorial Chapel on Sunday afternoon, February 17 in his memory. The Home Concert is streamed on the St.Olaf website so you could even hear the concert live or archive it later. In this way, other friends and family of Lars could share in this moment.”

    Best wishes,
    Anton Armstrong

  26. Greg Leary

    I had Mr. Kindem in my senior year at Roosevelt High in Minneapolis. He taught a course called Street Law. It truly was one of the most enjoyable classes I took in high school. It was fun but we also learned a lot. I will never forget having a mock trial and having to prepare my case. We also sat in on a very controversial trial that was happening in Minneapolis at the time. He made sure we had proper respect for the court. Well I not only learned respect for the court but also for my teacher. RIP Mr. Kindem

  27. Lee M. Holmer

    I had the honor of being co-captain of North High First State Ski Championships Team in 1960. It was Mr. Kindem who had the dream to build a state caliber ski team from Minneapolis and he accomplished that. His legacy will live on. I went West and lost contact with Mr. Kindem, and regret not taking his language class in high school. He was indeed a leader of boys, who he helped turn into men. Thank you, “LARS THE NORWEGIAN”.

    Lee M. Holmer
    NHS, class of 60

  28. Scott Werdahl

    Lars, as family history and stories are told, introduced my mother to my father at Green Lake Bible Camp when they were young teenagers. Just on that note, my family is very grateful to Lars, as my parents have been happily married for 57 years! My mother and Lars were school classmates in Northfield and on many occasions Lars would often tell me some of his childhood stories. He said that the only person that ever beat him up was Donna Mae Reynolds. He never told me why, but admitted he probably deserved it. He stated he never crossed a person with Danish heritage since. I got to know Lars in later years, as he would attend many St. Olaf Choir concerts, and recently listening to the choir when my daughter, Marin, was a member. Lars and I would share choir and Norway stories often and I got a real sense of a historical bequeathment with every story told.

    Whether it was to watch the Oles beat Carleton in football, or attend the Christmas Festival or various St. Olaf Choir concerts, or digging deep into the Kierkegaard library troves of books, or dusting off old files in the Olaf Archive office, or attending numerous symposiums, I always ran into Lars on campus. In the past few years the frequency of seeing Lars on campus increased so much that I actually thought he was a Northfield resident or a member of the emeritus faculty group. I chuckled when my Ole alum children and some of their friends thought I too was a member of the current faculty or a Regent. Someone close to me once asked if I was “turning into a Lars Kindem”. I remember responding with steadfast resolution, “God, I hope so.” Because Lars had many passions. And one of his greatest passions was the St. Olaf Community. He had a passion with its history, a passion for its athletics, a passion for its music and arts. His passion and deep interest and respect went from the current administration and active students, to the Ole legends no longer with us, as well as to the many Ole alumni, friends and family. He was always eager to know what the current students were doing and took an interest in the alumni that returned.

    There were many sides to Lars to be sure. His Nordic eyes presented mischief and fire. His jokes and stories are legendary. I remember once when we were comparing stories about F. Melius Christiansen, his son Olaf, and past and current directors Kenneth Jennings and Anton Armstrong, I had asked Lars if he had any regrets while being a student at St. Olaf. And he looked straight into my eyes and firmly replied, “I wished I had been born a tenor.” I asked why he thought that and he again replied with astounding clarity and wisdom, “Because they get all the pretty women.” I knew right then and there the wisdom, and truth and beauty, of his years.

    It can be easily said that since 1874, there have been many good and great Oles that have walked the hills of Manitou. But there are not many Ole Lions. Lars can truly be called an Ole Lion. My parents, Richard and Donna, as well as my family are proud to have known Lars. And as we go about our daily lives, when we find ourselves on our very own and personal fields of Stiklestad, we are reminded of the fight and justice of the rampant lion. Let us remember the likes of Lars and the great Ole legends. For they are right beside us, for the rest of our days. We remember the Norse cry from St. Olav.

    “Kristmenn, Krossmenn, Kongsmenn”
    “Fram Fram Free”

    Men of Christ, Men of the Cross, Men of the King
    Forward, Forward, Forever Free

    Scott Werdahl 82’
    Chaska, MN

    • B. Wyne Quist

      As we said yesterday, Scott –
      Lars was the Ole lion who roared the loudest, always on key.
      Please keep in touch.
      Wayne

  29. I can’t recall the exact reason Lars was so generous to invite me as an honored guest to the Torsk Klubben. Perhaps he sensed because I was a transplanted East Coaster that I like cod no matter how it was prepared. That night as I sat at his funeral with Bjorn Lasserud, Brad Peterson, and Dave Paulson, tears came my eyes as family and friends entoned memories of this over achiever who had impacted on all of those of us who love skiing. He was a role model, someone who intuited who was there to perpetuate that ultimate Norwegian tradition, cross country skiing. Although I realize Lars was a man who said what he believed to a fault.

    I stood up to introduce myself at the Kubben as a physician and likewise messianic about our sport. Next up was Richard Green then superintendent of public schools in Minneapolis. Wow, how generous of Lars to bring me into the skiing fold.

    Gud Tur, you generous lover of anything Nordic. We will miss you!

    I reflected back on his n

  30. Lars hired me to assist him at a summertime Norwegian language course, at a camp run by the Minneapolis School District. He told me a great story which I have always remembered:

    During a winter trip to Norway, he spotted a ski jump in the distance. His Norwegian hosts apparently didn’t know much about his background, so he asked:
    “What’s that?”
    “Oh, that’s a ski jump.”
    “That looks like something I’d like to try.”
    “Oh no, you have to start training when you’re very young.”
    “I’d really like to try that.”
    So they took him to a beginner jump and he floundered his way off it.
    Then he pointed at a competition jump and said, “Now I want to go off that one.”
    They eventually despaired of dissuading this crazy American, so they let him go do it. He wobbled all the way down (like the infamous Eddie the Eagle). At the very last moment, he pulled everything together and flew off in good form. That was the moment when they first realized they’d been had.

    During the short time I knew him, I enjoyed his company a great deal. He seemed the epitome of a good teacher to me.

  31. Jim Thielen

    I was one of the many young boys that was trained and tutored by Lars Kindem while at North High School. I participated on the ski team for three years and remember the patience and persistence that Coach Kindem used to motivate us to perform well. He taught us the value of training and hard work with the goal of representing our school with honor. It was a unique opportunity to be a part of a group that had as its leader a knowledgeable coach that inspired us to do our best every day.

    We skied for North High School but we also skied for Coach Kindem. He saw his role as not only a coach, he saw himself as a role model that was guiding the development of young people that were on a journey to becoming adults. Understanding that role takes insight and leadership that is a rare quality. Leaders operate in four dimensions. Those dimensions include having a vision and the ability to think ahead, being a realist that can face things as they are, having a set of values that guide behavior and decision-making, and courage to make things happen. Coach Kindem used those dimensions to mold his young athletes to be the best that they could be, whether on the course with skis on our feet or in the daily course of life.

    We all benefited from Lars Kindem’s spirit and enthusiasm that he brought to everything that he did. He touched our lives in big ways that we didn’t fully understand at the time but impacted us throughout our lives and we recognize today. For that, we were all blessed and fortunate to have known Lars Kindem.

    Jim Thielen
    North High School
    Class of 1969

  32. Deb Anderson Freeman

    Mr. Kindem was my ski coach & Norwegian teacher. There are only a few teachers that made a difference , and he was at the top of the list. I think of him often even now.
    When he was late to class, we would be in his classroom & all we could hear from down the hallway was his booming voice…”thy Kindem come!!”…..pretty sure he was the reason his Norwegian classes were popular…Godspeed Mr. Kindem…

  33. Tor kindem

    Papa, your memory will live forever! You made lasting impressions on every person you ever met. Especially on me.I look forward to the day we can catch up on all times we spent apart.Your Main Man, Tor

  34. Marg Herkal

    One of my favorite teachers at Roosevelt High School, I had him for two years of Norwegian classes. I also lost one of his favorite fishing rods while trolling on a lake during a trip we went on with Norwegian Club. I can still hear him saying “Herkal if you dropped that rod, your going in after it.” Of course he wasn’t serious. He was a teller of stories, some of them true, others not so much. He tried telling us the Fjerd horses were born with their legs shorter on one side, so they could eat on the hills without falling over. Just thinking of him, puts a smile on my face. Jeg elsker deg Kindem!

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