George Staveteig, former Grand Forks County commissioner, dies at 85
George Staveteig, a longtime Grand Forks area farmer and a former Grand Forks County commissioner, died Tuesday following a long illness. Staveteig, 85, served on the County Commission from 1988 to 1992. During his tenure on the commission, Stave...
George Staveteig, a longtime Grand Forks area farmer and a former Grand Forks County commissioner, died Tuesday following a long illness.
Staveteig, 85, served on the County Commission from 1988 to 1992.
During his tenure on the commission, Staveteig garnered attention for an abrupt style of looking sharply at county spending and departments' management.
He led the commission in pressuring Jeanne Stinnett, the county auditor at the time, to get her books in order and requested state audits of the office's financial records. After state auditors alleged she had illegally altered the books, Staveteig led a campaign to get Gov. George Sinner to remove her from office.
Stinnett resigned from the then-elected position in November 1991.
Staveteig lost his first re-election bid in the June 1992 primary election.
His wife, Betty, said he had been motivated by taxes to run for county office, but he was devoted to agriculture.
"Farming has been his life," she said.
The Staveteigs' son David and grandsons Richard and Steven now manage the farm.
Though they didn't always see eye to eye, those who served with Staveteig on the County Commission said they respected his straightforward approach to county issues.
"I appreciated serving with George," said William Murphy, who served on the commission from 1983 until 2014. "You always knew where he stood. You could appreciate where he stood."
"You had to know George," Arvin Kvasager said. "He could be kind of snappy if things didn't go just right, but he was a good commissioner."
Kvasager, who served on the commission for 18 years over two separate stints-from 1983 to 1990 and again from 1999 to 2008-called Staveteig an advocate for farm-to-market roads.
"When he was on the roads and bridges (committee), I remember we did a lot of work on the roads and bridges. We did a lot of good road work," Kvasager said. "He'll be sorrowfully missed."
A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Calvary Lutheran Church in Grand Forks. Visitation is 5 to 7 p.m. with a 6:45 p.m. prayer service Friday at Amundson Funeral Home in Grand Forks. Interment will be at Memorial Park North Cemetery.